Preamble, Motives for writing constitution
Reference to country's history
Meeting the age-old desires of our people, the armed struggle for national liberation, whose purpose was to liberate the land and Man, brought together all the patriotic sectors of Mozambican society in the same ideals of freedom, unity, justice and progress.
When national independence was won on the 25th of June 1975, the Mozambican people were given back their fundamental rights and freedoms.
The Constitution of 1990 introduced the democratic rule of law, based on the separation and interdependence of powers and on pluralism. It laid down the structural parameters for modernisation, making a decisive contribution to the beginning of a democratic climate that led the country to its first multiparty elections.
This Constitution reaffirms, develops and deepens the fundamental principles of the Mozambican State, and enshrines the sovereign nature of the democratic rule of law, based on pluralism of expression and partisan organisation and on respect for and the guarantee of fundamental rights and liberties of citizens.
The extensive participation of citizens in making this basic law conveys the consensus to strengthen democracy and national unity, which flows from the collective wisdom of the people.
Establishment of cabinet/ministers
TITLE VIII. GOVERNMENT
CHAPTER I. DEFINITION AND COMPOSITION
Article 200. Definition
The Government of the Republic of Mozambique is the Council of Ministers.
Article 201. Composition
- The Council of Ministers shall consist of the President of the Republic, who shall preside, the Prime Minister and the Ministers.
- Deputy Ministers and Secretaries of State may be summoned to take part in meetings of the Council of Ministers.
Article 202. Convocation and Chairmanship
- In discharging its functions, the Council of Ministers shall do so in accordance with the decisions of the President of the Republic and of the Assembly of the Republic.
- The Council of Ministers shall be convened and chaired by the Prime Minister, to whom this power is delegated by the President of the Republic.
- Government policies shall be formulated by the Council of Ministers in sessions led by the President of the Republic.
CHAPTER II. POWERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Powers of cabinet
Article 203. Functions
- The Council of Ministers shall secure the administration of the country, shall guarantee its territorial integrity, shall safeguard public order and the security and stability of citizens, shall promote economic development, shall implement the State’s social agenda, shall develop and consolidate legality and shall carry out the country’s foreign policy.
- The defence of public order shall be guaranteed by the appropriate entities operating under government control.
Powers of cabinet
Article 204. Powers
- In particular, the Council of Ministers shall have the power to:
- guarantee the enjoyment by citizens of their rights and freedoms;
- secure public order and social discipline;
- draft bills to be submitted to the Assembly of the Republic;
- pass decree-laws under the legislative authority of the Assembly of the Republic;
- prepare the Economic and Social Plan and the State Budget and implement them after they have been approved by the Assembly of the Republic;
- promote and regulate economic activity and the activity of social sectors;
- prepare the signature of international treaties and sign, ratify, adhere to and terminate international agreements, in matters that are within their governmental jurisdiction;
- direct labour and social security policy;
- direct the State sectors, particularly education and health;
- direct and promote housing policy.
- The Council of Ministers shall also have power to:
- guarantee the defence and consolidation of the public domain and property of the State;
- direct and co-ordinate the activities of the ministries and other offices subordinate to the Council of Ministers;
- evaluate the experiences of local executive offices and regulate their organisation and functioning, and supervise the offices of the local authorities within the terms of the law;
- encourage and support entrepreneurial activity and the exercise of private initiative, and protect the interests of consumers and of the general public;
- promote the development of co-operatives and support family sector production.
- The Government shall have exclusive legislative initiative in respect of matters concerning its own organisation, composition and functioning.
Head of government powers
Article 205. Powers of the Prime Minister
- Without prejudice to other attributes conferred upon him by the President of the Republic and by law, the Prime Minister shall assist and advise the President of the Republic in the running of Government.
- In particular, the Prime Minister shall have power to:
- assist the President of the Republic in drawing up the Government Programme;
- advise the President of the Republic on the creation of ministries and ministerial commissions, and on the appointment of members of the Government and other governmental heads;
- draft the Government’s plan of work and present it to the President of the Republic;
- ensure that members of the Government implement decisions taken by State offices;
- chair the meetings of the Council of Ministers dealing with the implementation of defined policies and other decisions;
- co-ordinate and control the activities of ministries and other governmental institutions;
- supervise the technical and administrative operations of the Council of Ministers.
Legislative oversight of the executive
Article 206. Relationship with the Assembly of the Republic
- In his relations with the Assembly of the Republic, the Prime Minister shall have power to:
- present to the Assembly of the Republic the Government’s programme, the draft Economic and Social Plan and the draft State Budget;
- present Government implementation reports;
- express the Government’s positions to the Assembly of the Republic.
- In the exercise of these functions, the Prime Minister shall be assisted by members of the Council of Ministers, whom he shall have designated.
Article 207. Accountability of the Council of Ministers
The Council of Ministers shall be answerable to the President of the Republic and to the Assembly of the Republic on the implementation of domestic and foreign policy, and shall be accountable to them for its actions in the terms of the law.
Article 208. Political Accountability of Members of Government
The members of the Council of Ministers shall be accountable to the President of the Republic and to the Prime Minister for the enforcement of the decisions of the Council of Ministers within their areas of jurisdiction.
Article 209. Collective Responsibility
The members of the Government shall be bound by the Government Programme and by the decisions of the Council of Ministers.
Article 210. Form of Acts
- Normative acts of the Council of Ministers shall take the form of decree-laws and decrees.
- The decree-laws and decrees referred to in the preceding paragraph shall indicate the law under the authority of which they were passed.
- The President of the Republic shall sign and order the publication of decree- laws, and the Prime Minister shall sign and order the publication of other decrees of the Government.
- All other Government acts shall take the form of resolutions.
Head of government immunity
Article 211. Immunities
- No member of Government may be arrested or detained without the permission of the President of the Republic, unless apprehended in the act of committing a felonious crime that carries a sentence of long-term imprisonment.
- In the event that criminal proceedings are brought against a member of Government, and the member has been definitively charged, the President of the Republic shall decide whether or not the member should be suspended for the purposes of the proceedings, and a decision to suspend shall be mandatory when the crime in question is of the type referred to in the preceding paragraph.
Establishment of constitutional court
TITLE XI. CONSTITUTIONAL COUNCIL
Article 241. Definition
- The Constitutional Council is a sovereign public office with special jurisdiction to administer justice in matters of a legal-constitutional nature.
The law shall determine the organisation, the functioning, the procedures for scrutiny and control of constitutionality and of the legality of normative acts, and all other powers of the Constitutional Council.
Constitutional court selection
Article 242. Composition
- The Constitutional Council shall consist of seven judges of appeal, appointed in the following manner:
- one judge of appeal, who shall be the President of the Constitutional Council, appointed by the President of the Republic;
- five judges of appeal appointed by the Assembly of the Republic according to principles of proportional representation;
- one judge of appeal appointed by the Superior Council of the Judiciary.
Constitutional court term length
Judges of the Constitutional Council shall be appointed for renewable terms of five years and they shall enjoy a guarantee of independence, security of tenure, impartiality and unaccountability.
Min age of const court judges, Eligibility for const court judges
At the time of their appointment, Judges of the Constitutional Council shall be of at least thirty-five years of age and shall have at least ten years of professional experience in the judiciary or in practice at the bar or in teaching law.
Article 243. Incompatibility
Judges of the Constitutional Council in office may not undertake any other public or private activity, except for teaching, legal research, or other activities of scientific, literary, artistic and technical dissemination or publication, with prior authorisation from the relevant body.
Constitutional court powers
Article 244. Powers
- The Constitutional Council shall have power to:
- evaluate and declare the unconstitutionality of laws and the illegality of normative acts of State offices;
- settle conflicts of jurisdiction between the sovereign public offices;
- make prior evaluations of the constitutionality of referenda.
- The Constitutional Council shall also:
- verify the legal prerequisites required of candidates for the office of President of the Republic;
- pronounce upon the permanent incapacity of the President of the Republic;
- verify the death and the divestiture of the President of the Republic;
- evaluate electoral complaints and appeals in the last instance, and validate and proclaim electoral results, in the terms of the law;
- decide, in the last instance, on the legality of the establishment of political parties and coalitions, as well as evaluate the legality of their names, acronyms and symbols, and order their dissipation in the terms of the Constitution and the laws;
- adjudicate actions contesting elections and the deliberations of political parties, as well as the legality of their names, acronyms and symbols;
- adjudicate actions concerning disputes about the terms of office of deputies;
- adjudicate actions concerning incompatibilities established in the Constitution and in the law.
- The Constitutional Council shall exercise such other powers as may be assigned to it in terms of the law.
Constitutionality of legislation
Article 245. Request for Evaluation of Unconstitutionality
- The Constitutional Council shall with, general binding force, evaluate and pronounce upon the unconstitutionality of laws and the illegality of other normative acts of State offices, at any time during which they are in force.
- The following may request the Constitutional Council to pronounce upon the unconstitutionality of laws, or on the illegality of normative acts of State offices:
- the President of the Republic;
- the President of the Assembly of the Republic;
- at least one third of the deputies of the Assembly of the Republic;
- the Prime Minister;
- the Attorney General of the Republic;
- two thousand citizens.
- The law shall establish rules on the admission of actions for the evaluation of unconstitutionality.
Constitutionality of legislation
Article 246. Anticipatory Finding of Constitutionality
- The President of the Republic may request the Constitutional Council to carry out an anticipatory evaluation of the constitutionality of any legal instrument sent to him for enactment.
- Anticipatory evaluation of constitutionality shall be requested within the time limit established in article 163 (2).
- When an evaluation of constitutionality has been requested, the time limit for enactment shall be interrupted.
- If the Constitutional Council finds that there is no unconstitutionality, the new time limit for enactment shall run from the date upon which the President of the Republic is informed of the decision of the Constitutional Council.
- If the Constitutional Council makes a finding of unconstitutionality, the President of the Republic shall veto the bill and return it to the Assembly of the Republic.
Article 247. Appeals
- Supreme Court decisions harmonising questions of law and other decisions made on grounds of unconstitutionality must be referred to the Constitutional Council in the following cases:
- in the event of a refusal to apply any rule on grounds of its unconstitutionality;
- when the Attorney General of the Republic or the Public Prosecution Service requests an abstract evaluation of the constitutionality or legality of a rule whose application has been refused, on grounds of unconstitutionality or illegality, by judicial decision from which there is no appeal.
- The law shall regulate the rules on admissibility of appeals contemplated in this provision.
Article 248. Judgements Binding and Unappealable
- Judgements of the Constitutional Council shall be binding on all citizens, institutions and other legal persons, they shall not be subject to appeal and they shall prevail over other decisions.
- A person who fails to comply with the judgements referred to in this article shall be guilty of the criminal offence of contempt, unless a more serious crime applies.
- The decisions of the Constitutional Council shall be published in the Boletim da República.
TITLE XVI. SYMBOLS, CURRENCY AND CAPITAL OF THE REPUBLIC
Reference to fraternity/solidarity, National flag
Article 297. National Flag
- The national flag shall have five colours: red, green, black, gold and white.
- The significance of these colours shall be as follows:
- red – the centuries of resistance to colonialism, the armed national liberation struggle and defence of sovereignty;
- green – the riches of the soil;
- black – the African continent;
- gold – the riches of the subsoil;
- white – the justice of the struggle of the Mozambican people, and peace.
- From top to bottom, there shall be green, black and gold horizontal stripes, separated by strips of white. On the left side, there shall be a red triangle, in the centre of which there shall be a star. Above this there shall be a crossed hoe and gun, superimposed on a book.
- The star shall symbolise the spirit of international solidarity of the Mozambican people.
- The book, the hoe and the gun shall symbolise study, production and defence.
Article 298. Emblem
- The emblem of the Republic of Mozambique shall contain as its central elements a book, a gun and hoe, superimposed on a map of Mozambique, and representing, respectively: education, defence and vigilance, and the peasantry and agricultural production.
- Below the map the ocean shall be represented.
- In the centre shall be the rising sun, symbol of the building of a new life.
- Enclosing this shall be a toothed wheel, symbolising the workers and industry.
- Surrounding the toothed wheel there shall be, to the right and left respectively, an ear of maize and a piece of sugar cane, symbolising agricultural wealth.
- At the top, in the centre, shall be a star, symbolising the spirit of international solidarity of the Mozambican people.
- At the bottom there shall be a red stripe with the inscription “Republic of Mozambique”.
Article 299. National Anthem
The words and the music of the national anthem shall be established by law, which shall be passed in accordance with article 280 (1).
Article 300. Currency
- The national currency shall be the Metical.
- Changes to the currency shall be established by law, which shall be passed in accordance with article 295 (1).
Article 301. Capital
The Capital of the Republic of Mozambique shall be the City of Maputo.