Monthly Archives: September 2013

Welcome to Presidential Power

Welcome to Presidential Power.

This is a new blog that focuses on the activity of presidents and presidential activity around the world. We are all scholars with a particular interest in the politics of presidencies and their incumbents. We have have started this blog because we feel there is space and need for such a blog. Currently, there are plenty of blogs that focus on politics generally both in individual countries and more broadly. There are also blogs that focus on presidents in particular countries or geographical areas as well as at least one blog that focuses on presidents more widely but still only in semi-presidential countries. Matthew Shugart’s excellent blog includes frequent discussion of presidents, but only as part of a wider focus that includes elections and electoral systems. To our knowledge, there is no blog that focuses solely on presidential activity across the globe. We aim to fill that gap.

In our posts, we will provide relatively brief but hopefully useful analyses of presidential power. There will be posts that address the concept of presidential power as well as plenty of posts about presidential activity in individual countries and regions. We are interested in all aspects of presidents and presidencies. We will include coverage of both directly and indirectly elected presidents in both democracies, autocracies and regimes somewhere in between.

We do not aim to be a news service. We will not be trying to be the first to report a news item. Instead, we aim to provide an informed discussion of events that relate directly to presidents. So, there will be posts about specific presidential activity, including vetoes, appointments, dissolutions etc. There will also be posts about presidential elections and presidential popularity. However, we understand that presidents do not operate in a vacuum. Wider events in the polity can affect the exercise of presidential power. Therefore, we also aim to place presidential activity in context. To this end, there will be posts about legislative elections, changes of government, executive-legislative relations, and so on.

Whereas this blog allows us the space to reflect on presidential activity, we also have a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Here, we will link to events in a more timely fashion. So, if you would like to follow the day-to-day politics of countries with a president more closely, then please feel free to like us on Facebook and to follow us on Twitter.

Finally, we are political scientists by training and we approach presidential activity from that perspective. However, we very much hope that our posts will be useful both for practitioners and for the informed general reader. Whatever your interest might be, we hope that you will enjoy the posts and that you will return to the site in the future.

Mozambique – Rescheduling Presidential en Parliamentary Elections

In Mozambique, President Guebuza announced that presidential and parliamentary elections that were scheduled for October 2014 will now take place in 2015.

The previous presidential and parliamentary elections took place in October 2009 and the Constitution provides for elections every five years. President Guebuza’s statement that they will be delayed seems to confirm rumours circulating in the media that Guebuza has no intention of leaving office.

President Guebuza was elected in February 2005 and cannot be re-elected as the Constitution prevents him from having a third term as the head of state. So far, the President’s party, the ruling Liberation Front of Mozambique (FRELIMO), has not appointed a new candidate for the presidential elections. Moreover, FRELIMO, under the total command of Guebuza, and with majority power in the assembly, could change Constitution allowing the current President to remain in office for another term.

Mozambique also still has to contend with heightened security concerns in the country, which could rise in the lead up to earlier municipal elections set for 20 November this year. This comes amid the raised tensions and increased confrontations with FRELIMO’s long-running rival, the National Resistance Movement (RENAMO), which has threatened to boycott and disrupt the polls.

RENAMO demands amendments to the electoral law, among other grievances. RENAMO’s main objection concerns the composition of the National Elections Commission (CNE). Under the current law each party appoints at least one CNE member and the appointments should be in proportion to the number of seats held in parliament. Yet, RENAMO demands “parity”, by which it means that FRELIMO can appoint 50 per cent of the CNE, with the other 50 per cent shared between RENAMO, the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) and civil society. RENAMO now refuses to appoint its members of the CNE.

After five months of talk, at meetings usually held once, and sometimes twice a week, negotiations between delegations of RENAMO and the Government have reached deadlock. A rapid resolution of the political impasse is urgently needed as local elections are scheduled for next month.