Freedom in the World
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Freedom Rating (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Civil Liberties (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Political Rights (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Mozambique’s political rights rating declined from 3 to 4 due to significant irregularities and a lack of transparency pertaining to the registration of candidates and the tabulation of votes in the October 2009 presidential, legislative, and provincial elections.
President Armando Guebuza and the ruling Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO) party won sweeping victories in the October 2009 national and provincial elections. International observers found that the overall outcome reflected the will of the people, but significant problems pertaining to the registration of candidates and the tabulation of results underscored the crucial need for greater transparency in the electoral process. Endemic corruption and weak judicial institutions also pointed to the broader challenge of securing transparency and accountability.
Mozambique has achieved high levels of sustained economic growth since the end of the civil war, owing to relative political stability and the government’s commitment to donor-backed market reforms. The economy has shown resilience in the face of the recent global downturn, with the International Monetary Fund estimating average real gross domestic product growth at 4.5 percent for 2009. Mozambique enjoys close relations with donors, who have helped to finance high spending levels on priority social sectors and poverty-reduction programs. The government is working to increase the share of domestic revenue in government spending by expanding the tax base and increasing foreign investment. Donors have also put pressure on the government to enact “second generation” liberalizing structural reforms to maintain the country’s economic growth.
Mozambique is not an electoral democracy. While international observers have deemed the overall outcomes of Mozambique’s national elections to have reflected the will of the people, electoral processes have repeatedly been riddled with problems. The 2009 elections were particularly criticized for widespread rejection of party lists and for “numerous irregularities” in the tabulation of results.