Focusing on Frelimo's dominance over party politics and state institutions, this article analyses the issues pertaining to the role of electoral institutions in the consolidation of this dominant position. The authors argue that in order to understand party dominance in Mozambique, it is necessary that there should be an historical perspective linking the present (that is, the constitutional reforms since the 1990s) to the past. These reforms paved the way for ‘democratisation from above’, which has continued ever since. Rather than resolving differences over electoral processes through democratic governance norms and regulatory frameworks, Frelimo has intimidated existing and emerging political parties through its control of electoral governance institutions. Frelimo's electoral success in the first democracy-founding election became an intermittent strategy of choice facilitating its manoeuvring for winning subsequent elections, thus controlling and dominating political life. One outcome of this process is that political horse-trading has generated skewed ‘incentive structures’ that have compromised the role of opposition political parties and electoral governance institutions.

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Keywords Constitutional reform, Democratic transition, Democratisation, Electoral governance, Electoral law, Party dominance, Political institutions
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1080/09744053.2013.832065, hdl.handle.net/1765/101210
Journal Africa Review
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Citation
Nuvunga, A. (Adriano), & Salih, M.A.M. (M.A. Mohamed). (2013). Party dominance and electoral institutions: Framing Frelimo's dominance in the context of an electoral governance deficit. Africa Review, 5(1), 23–42. doi:10.1080/09744053.2013.832065