Mozambique Elections of 15th October: What’s New?

French Institute Seminars in Humanities (FISH)
31 October 2014

14:00 – IFAS Conference Room, 62 Juta Street, Braamfontein


Michel Cahen
CNRS / Sciences Po Bordeaux

With the FRELIMO candidate winning the elections held on the 15th of October 2014 in Mozambique, the FRELIMO is now entering its 40th consecutive year in power. While the elections were marred by ballot rigging organised by the party in power, thereby raising much concern, it is very unlikely that such rigging influenced the election outcome. The opposition, which was practically wiped out in the 2004 and 2009 elections, has been reinforcing its stance. This concerns the RENAMO in particular (i.e. the former guerrilla supported by the South African apartheid government from 1977 to 1992), that managed to win sympathy from the poorest in the face of an increasingly wealthy and arrogant elite. Following the politico-military crisis of 2012-2014, Dhlacama, the charismatic RENAMO leader, succeeded in coming back on the political scene, thanks to military victories and widely shared democratic claims. He did not, however, win the elections, despite a campaign that managed to gather significant crowds, thereby questioning the fragility of the opposition in urban as well as rural areas. While the social problems eroding the power of the FRELIMO these past years, have not disappeared, new President Filipe Nyusi will have to alleviate them at least in order to succeed.


Michel Cahen is Head of Research at the CNRS, a Historian specialised in Portuguese colonisation in Africa and in current Lusophone African countries, and is a researcher at the Afriques dans le Monde centre at Sciences Po in Bordeaux.