CSRC Briefing Paper 6

Title : The emergence of post-civil war pluralist politics
Date : April 2003

Abstract : Based on Working Paper no.23: Giovanni M. Carbone, 'Emerging Pluralist Politics in Mozambique: the Frelimo-Renamo Party System'. It is intended to provide a summary of the principal findings, and an indication of the implications these may have for debates over policy.

In 1992, the Mozambican civil war was brought to a close, marking the beginning of a ?pacted? and fundamentally successful process of democratic change. Despite the extreme poverty of the country, Mozambique has managed to introduce a formally competitive electoral regime, in which movements that were formerly in violent opposition to one another have moved towards fragile pluralist practices ? in marked contrast to, for example, Angola, whose peace process quickly unraveled. This paper examines the emergence of a two party system in Mozambique, in which the former Renamo guerrilla fighters appear to have embraced the possibilities of peace. Ultimately, however, Carbone warns against undue optimism, and highlights the weaknesses of the system that are still to be resolved. For all that the country has adopted a formally competitive political system, it continues to fall short of fully democratic and liberal practices.