As Mozambique prepares to vote Wednesday, the nation has clearly progressed beyond its reputation as a war-ravaged southern African nation that struggled for decades to piece itself together. Today’s Mozambique is full of economic promise, thanks in part to huge natural gas reserves. What makes this particular national election interesting is that the clouds of Mozambique’s 16-year civil war, which ended in 1992, no longer dominate every political discussion. These days, it’s all about the economy. That is nowhere more evident than in Maputo’s central market, where election posters virtually wallpaper the market. Many sellers even wear aprons bearing the smiling face of the leading presidential candidate, Filipe Nyusi of the longtime ruling party Frelimo. The party effectively controls the capital.
Economics became a battleground four years ago, when Maputo was shaken by three days of riots over the rising costs of bread, electricity and gasoline.
Since then, the government has responded by upping domestic food production and instituting some price controls. The nation also got an economic boost with the recent discovery of massive gas deposits.
So in this election season, Mozambique’s government – and its critics – are keenly aware that popular support hinges on one thing: the economy.
Full Article: As Mozambique Votes, Economy Dominates Election Issues.