Mozambique – Parliament to debate constitutional reform

The current version of the Mozambique constitution dates back to 2005. (A copy of the text is available here.) Even though the document is still very young, deputies are likely to begin debating revisions in the near future.

Notícias is reporting that at the opening of the parliamentary session on Monday, the President of the National Assembly reiterated the ruling party’s desire to update the constitution. Interestingly, though, it was explicitly declared that amending the constitution to allow President Armando Guebuza to stand for a third term was not under consideration. Reforms to the judicial process were explicitly mentioned.

In addition, it was stated that the country’s electoral law would be revised. This is important because last year’s elections were considered by many not to be free and fair.

Generally, the quality of Mozambique’s democracy has declined recently. In 2009 Freedom House withdrew the status of an electoral democracy there. Also, in 2010 Polity retrospectively downgraded its score for Mozambique from +6 to +5 from 1994-2009 inclusive, meaning that the country should be classed as an anocracy rather than a democracy. Mozambique’s Freedom House score also declined slightly in 2009.

Hopefully, a revision of the electoral law and perhaps constitutional changes may help to reverse this decline.

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