Mozambique. According to Countryaah, the capital of Mozambique is Maputo. Mozambique, one of the world’s poorest countries and Sweden’s largest aid country, suffered a severe setback in the summer when the opposition party RENAMO (Resistência Nacional Mozambicana) boycotted the local elections. The hope of the aid countries, which paid for the elections, was that they would help to decentralize the administration and promote democratic development by strengthening municipal self-government. Instead, RENAMO’s boycott led to serious fears for the 1999 parliamentary elections, where the big issue is precisely the cooperation between government and opposition. The boycott is not because the ruling FRELIMO (Frente de Libertação de Mozambique) exerts repression – the government has generally shown maturity and tolerance. Instead, part of the problem seemed to be that RENAMO has not really managed to transform itself into a capable political party. Many political analysts felt that the government must review the electoral law and the constitution in order to promote political stability.
Both FRELIMO and RENAMO have their roots in guerrilla groups – FRELIMO was formed in 1962 and fought the Portuguese colonial empire until independence in 1975, when the organization formed a Marxist regime. RENAMO arose as a result of dissatisfaction with the FRELIMO regime and was supported by the then Rhodesia and South Africa. In the early 1980s, the parties began a devastating civil war, ending in a peace treaty in 1992. At the first general election in 1994, FRELIMO won, and RENAMO received 38% of the vote. The fact that RENAMO abandoned war for politics was probably to some extent due to the fact that its leaders received great gifts in the form of money, houses and cars, but they have since failed to create a solid political organization.
Foreign debt at the end of the year was $ 5.5 billion, about four times as much as the country’s GDP. But rapid economic growth continued, and the inflation rate was below 6% for the first time. Mozambique has, with the help of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), been included in a debt amortization program with the aim of reducing the debt burden.