Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Mozambican Liberation Front
The Mozambican Liberation Front (FRELIMO, pronounced fray-LEE-moo; Portuguese: Frente de Libertação de Moçambique) is a political party that has ruled Mozambique since independence in 1975. Its power base is derived from the minority Shangaan ethnic group.
FRELIMO was founded in 1961 as an anti-Portuguese guerrilla movement under the leadership of Eduardo Mondlane. It controlled most of the northern region of the country by 1964. After the new reformist government in Portugal granted independence to its African territories, FRELIMO established a one-party state based on socialist principles with Samora Machel as president. The new government was engaged in a civil war with an anti-communist political faction known as RENAMO. A peace accord was not signed until 1992.
After Machel's death in a suspicious airplane crash, Joaquim Chissano began to lead both the party and the state. Despite his education in the Communist bloc countries, Chissano was not a hard-line Marxist and called for democratic, multi-party elections in 1994 that put an end to single-party rule.
At the elections in late 1999, President Chissano was re-elected with 52.3% of the vote, and FRELIMO secured 133 of 250 parliamentary seats. Due to a mass of scams and several cases of corruption, Chissano's government became been the target of wide criticism.
The party, as a result of scams and criticism, selected Armando Guebuza to be its candidate in the presidential election on December 1-2 2004 where he won expectedly with about 60% of the vote. Renamo and some other opposition parties have however made claimes of election fraud and therefor denoneced the result, but the claims have not yet been confirmed and does so far seem unjust.
Mozambique's national anthem from 1975 to 1992 was Viva, Viva a FRELIMO ("Long Live FRELIMO"). The tune has been retained to the present day; however, new words have been composed for the song to reflect the transition to multi-party politics.
Presidents from FRELIMO
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