2013 年 2013 巻 174 号 p. 174_54-174_68
Twenty years have passed since the end of the 16-year-long devastating war in Mozambique. Since then, the country has managed to conduct four multi-party elections without the recurrence of large-scale violence, and its economic growth rate has reached close to 10% each year. Due to these accomplishments, Mozambique enjoys a strong reputation of stability and democracy, and is considered to be “one of the most successful post-conflict peacebuilding countries” around the world.
In 2009, however, this positive evaluation of Mozambique’s democracy began to reverse. Both Freedom House and the Polity Score Project down-graded its scores, with Mozambique no longer included in the list of the “democratic” countries, and instead categorized as an “open anocracy”. There are also some studies pointing out that “Mozambique is sliding back to one-party rule”.
This article examines the current situation of democratization and stability in Mozambique, and clarifies its challenges, focusing on the much debated 2009 elections and their aftermath. Through detailed analysis,it becomes clear that Mozambique is in the process of constructing “electoral authoritarianism”, with sophisticated approaches to manipulating elections allowing the current regime to continue to receive strong support from the international community. Within this sophisticated electoral manipulation, two important features are identified by the author: (1) the creation of an “un-level playing field” for multi-party elections by the ruling FRELIMO, (2) and the cooption of civil society agents and the biggest opposition party, RENAMO, as “partners”. Both aspects contribute to the efforts of the government to exclude a newly emerging third party in the electoral arena.
This approach ensures continued stability of security within Mozambique since the ex-rebel RENAMO acts as the “official opposition”. One year after the elections of 2009, however, the biggest riot in the postconflict history occurred in the capital, Maputo, and surprised not only foreign observers but also the government. The stability established by FRELIMO’s hard grip on power and its sophisticated manipulation does not mean total absence of contestation by the people. Rather, the realization that both civil society and the current opposition parties cannot represent nor respond to the popular will for more democratic and just state governance is creating apathy among voters, resulting in only 30-40% turnout in last two elections increases in violent confrontation.
Based on the above findings, the author concludes that it is necessary to begin re-examining stability and democratization in Mozambique from a viewpoint beyond the “post-conflict” discourse that tends to overly focus on ex-war parties and a state of “no war”.