TITLE VII. ASSEMBLY OF THE REPUBLIC
CHAPTER I. STATUS AND ELECTION
Article 168. Definition
- The Assembly of the Republic is the representative assembly of all Mozambican citizens.
- Deputies shall represent the entire country and not only the area by which they were elected.
Article 169. Functions
- The Assembly of the Republic is the highest legislative body in the Republic of Mozambique.
- The Assembly of the Republic determines the norms that conduct the functioning of the State and the economic and social life through laws and deliberations of generic character.
Article 170. Election and Composition
- The Assembly of the Republic shall be elected through direct, universal, equal and periodic suffrage and by secret and personal ballot.
- The Assembly of the Republic shall consist of two hundred and fifty deputies.
- Candidates for election shall be political parties, either individually or in coalitions, and their respective lists may include citizens who are not party members.
Article 171. Term of Office of Deputies
- The term of office of the deputies shall be the same as the legislative term, except in the event of resignation or loss of office.
- The suspension, substitution, resignation or loss of office of deputies shall be regulated by the Statute of Deputies.
Article 172. Incompatibility
- The office of deputy shall be incompatible with the following offices:
- member of Government;
- judicial officer in office;
- diplomat in active service;
- military and police officers in active service;
- provincial governor and district administrator;
- holders of offices in local authorities.
- The law shall establish any other incompatibilities.
Article 173. Powers of Deputies
The deputies shall have the following powers:
- to exercise the right to vote;
- to present bills and proposals for resolutions and other decisions;
- to stand as candidates for offices of the Assembly of the Republic;
- to request and obtain from the Government or from public institutions such data and information as are required for the performance of their functions;
- to put questions to the Government;
- other powers assigned by the Bylaws of the Assembly of the Republic.
Article 174. Immunities
- No deputy may be arrested or detained except in the event of flagrante delicto, or put on trial without the consent of the Assembly of the Republic.
- If criminal proceedings are pending in which a deputy is the accused, the deputy shall be heard by a judge of appeal.
- Deputies shall enjoy a special forum and shall be tried by the Supreme Court in terms of the law.
Article 175. Non-Liability
- The deputies of the Assembly of the Republic may not be sued, detained or put on trial for the opinions voiced or votes cast in exercising their functions as deputies.
- The above does not apply to civil or criminal liability for libel, defamation or slander.
Article 176. Rights and Privileges of Deputies
- Deputies shall enjoy the following rights and other privileges:
- A special identification card;
- free movement through public places with restricted access, when in the performance or because of their functions;
- support, co-operation, protection and facilities from public or military entities of the Republic, for the purposes of the performance of their functions within the terms of the law;
- remuneration and subsidies established by law.
- Deputies may not take part in judicial proceedings as witnesses or expert witnesses, unless this has been authorised by the Assembly of the Republic or by its Standing Commission.
- Deputies shall also enjoy the other rights and privileges established by law.
Article 177. Duties of Deputies
Deputies shall have the following duties:
- to comply with the Constitution and the laws;
- to comply with the Statute of Deputies;
- to respect the dignity of the Assembly of the Republic and its deputies;
- to attend plenary sessions and sessions of the commission of which he is a member;
- to take part in voting and in the work of the Assembly of the Republic.
Article 178. Resignation and Loss of Office
- A deputy may resign from office within the terms of the law.
- Deputies shall lose their office if they:
- have been definitively convicted of a felonious crime that carries a prison sentence of over two years;
- become a member of or take on functions in a party or coalition other than the one for which they were elected;
- do not take up a seat in the Assembly of the Republic, or exceed the number of absences established in the Bylaws.
- Loss of office shall also occur in the event of any ineligibility existing at the date of the elections and discovered subsequently, as well as any form of incapacity prescribed by law.
CHAPTER II. POWERS
Article 179. Powers
- The Assembly of the Republic shall have power to legislate on basic issues of the country’s domestic and foreign policy.
- The Assembly of the Republic shall have exclusive power to:
- pass constitutional laws;
- delimit the boundaries of the Republic of Mozambique;
- decide on territorial divisions;
- approve the electoral law and the rules for referenda;
- approve and terminate treaties dealing with issues within their jurisdiction;
- propose the holding of referenda on matters of national interest;
- endorse the suspension of constitutional guarantees and the declaration of state of siege or a state of emergency;
- ratify the appointment of the President of the Supreme Court, the President of the Constitutional Council, the President of the Administrative Court and the Vice President of the Supreme Court;
- elect the Ombudsman;
- decide on the Government programme;
- decide on reports on the activities of the Council of Ministers;
- decide on the major options of the Economic and Social Plan and the State Budget and the respective reports on their implementation;
- approve the State Budget;
- define defence and security policy, after consulting the National Defence and Security Council;
- define the bases for tax policy and the tax system;
- authorise the Government, while defining the general conditions, to contract and make loans and to carry out other credit transactions, for periods exceeding one financial year, and to establish the upper limit for guarantees that may be given by the State;
- define the statute for holders of sovereign public offices, holders of provincial offices and holders of offices in local authorities;
- decide on the general bases for the organisation and functioning of Public Administration;
- ratify decree-laws;
- ratify and terminate international treaties;
- ratify treaties on Mozambique’s participation in international defence organisations;
- grant amnesties and pardons.
- With the exception of those powers stated in paragraph 2 of this article, the Assembly of the Republic may authorise the Government to legislate on other matters in the form of decree-laws.
- The Assembly of the Republic shall also have power to:
- elect the President, the Vice Presidents and the Standing Commission;
- approve the Bylaws of the Assembly of the Republic and the Statute of Deputies;
- set up Commissions of the Assembly of the Republic and regulate their operation;
- create national parliamentary groups.
Article 180. Laws Delegating Legislative Authority
- Laws delegating legislative authority shall define the purpose, intention, extent and duration of the authority.
- Legislative authority may not be used more than once, without prejudice to cases where its implementation is broken down into parts or where it has been extended.
- Legislative authority shall expire at the end of the legislative term or on the dissolution of the Assembly of the Republic.
- The Government shall publish authorised legislative acts by the last day of the time limit stipulated in the authorising legislation, which shall commence on the date of its publication.
Article 181. Decree-Laws
- A decree-law passed by the Council of Ministers under the authority of authorising legislation shall be deemed ratified if its ratification is not demanded by a minimum of fifteen deputies during the session of the Assembly of the Republic held immediately after its publication.
- The Assembly of the Republic may wholly or partially suspend the legal force of a decree-law until it has been evaluated.
- The suspension shall expire if by the end of the session the Assembly has not pronounced on the matter.
- Refusal to ratify shall result in revocation.
Article 182. Form of Acts
Legislative acts of the Assembly of the Republic shall take the form of laws, and its other decisions shall take the form of resolutions, and they shall be published in the Boletim da República.
Article 183. Legislative Initiative
- Legislative initiative shall belong to:
- the deputies;
- the parliamentary benches;
- the commissions of the Assembly of the Republic;
- the President of the Republic;
- the Government.
- The deputies and the parliamentary benches may not propose bills which, directly or indirectly, involve an increase in State expenditure or a reduction in State revenue, or which in any way change the financial year in progress.
Article 184. Rules for Debate and Voting
- Debate of legislative proposals and bills, and of proposed referenda, shall consist of a general first reading and a specialised second reading.
- Voting shall consist of a vote on the first reading, a vote on the second reading and a final overall vote.
- If the Assembly so resolves, texts approved on the first reading shall be put to the commissions for a vote on the second reading, without prejudice to the power of the Assembly to recall them and put them to a final plenary vote for overall approval.
CHAPTER III. ORGANISATION AND FUNCTIONING
Article 185. Legislative Term
- The legislative term shall be of five years and it shall commence with the first session of the Assembly of the Republic held after the elections and terminate with the first session of the newly elected Assembly.
- The first session of the Assembly of the Republic shall take place within twenty days after the election results have been announced and validated.
Article 186. Parliamentary Sessions
The Assembly of the Republic shall meet in ordinary session twice each year, and in extraordinary session whenever requested by the President of the Republic, by the Standing Commission or by at least one third of the deputies.
Article 187. Quorum and Decision Making
- The Assembly of the Republic may deliberate and make decisions only when more than half of its deputies are present.
- Decisions of the Assembly of the Republic shall be carried by more than half of the votes of the deputies present.
- Matters relating to the statute of the opposition shall be carried by a majority of two thirds of the votes of the deputies.
Article 188. Dissolution
- The President of the Republic may dissolve the Assembly of the Republic if it rejects the Government programme, after debate.
- The President of the Republic shall call new legislative elections, in the terms of the Constitution.
Article 189. Restrictions on Dissolution
- The Assembly of the Republic may not be dissolved in the event of a state of siege or a state of emergency, during the course of such a state, or until sixty days after it has terminated.
- A dissolution carried out contrary to the provisions of the preceding paragraph shall be of no legal effect whatsoever.
- The dissolution of the Assembly of the Republic shall not bring to an end the term of office of its deputies nor the powers and functions of the Standing Commission, which shall subsist until the first session of the new elected Assembly.
- In the event of dissolution, the new Assembly shall begin a new legislative term, which shall endure for the remainder of the previous legislative term.
Article 190. President of the Assembly of the Republic
- The Assembly of the Republic shall elect from among its members a President of the Assembly of the Republic.
- The Head of State shall convene and chair the session at which the election of the President of the Assembly of the Republic takes place.
- The President of the Assembly of the Republic shall be sworn into office by the President of the Constitutional Council.
- The President of the Assembly of the Republic is answerable to the Assembly of the Republic.
Article 191. Powers of the President of the Assembly of the Republic
The President of the Assembly of the Republic shall have power to:
- convene and chair sessions of the Assembly of the Republic and of its Standing Commission;
- ensure compliance with the decisions of the Assembly of the Republic;
- sign laws of the Assembly of the Republic and submit them for enactment;
- sign and order the publication of resolutions of the Assembly of the Republic;
- represent the Assembly of the Republic on a domestic and international level;
- promote institutional relations between the Assembly of the Republic and the Provincial Assemblies, in accordance with the rules in their bylaws;
- exercise any other powers established by the Constitution and the Bylaws;
Article 192. Vice Presidents of the Assembly of the Republic
- The Assembly of the Republic shall elect from among its members Vice Presidents nominated by the parties with the greatest parliamentary representation.
- In the case of absence or disability of the President of the Assembly of the Republic, his functions shall be exercised by the Vice Presidents.
Article 193. Standing Commission
- The Standing Commission is the body of the Assembly of the Republic that coordinates the activities of the Assembly in plenary sitting and of its commissions and national parliamentary groups.
- The Standing Commission of the Assembly of the Republic shall be composed of the President, the Vice Presidents and other deputies elected in the terms of the law, on the recommendation of the parliamentary benches, according to their degree of representation.
- The representatives referred to in the preceding paragraphs shall have the same number of votes in the Standing Commission as that of the benches that they represent.
- The Standing Commission of the Assembly of the Republic shall sit during the intermissions of the plenary sessions, and at other times established in the Constitution and the law.
Article 194. Permanence
At the end of the legislative term or in the event of dissolution, the Standing Commission of the Assembly of the Republic shall remain in office until the founding session of the newly elected Assembly.
Article 195. Powers
The Standing Commission of the Assembly of the Republic shall have power to:
- exercise the powers of the Assembly of the Republic with respect to the terms of office of the deputies;
- ensure compliance with the Constitution and the laws, and monitor the activity of the Government and the Public Administration;
- give its prior opinion on the declaration of war;
- authorise or confirm, subject to ratification, declarations of states of siege and states of emergency, whenever the Assembly of the Republic is not in session;
- conduct the relations between the Assembly of the Republic and parliaments and similar institutions in other countries;
- authorise the President of the Republic to make State visits abroad;
- establish commissions of inquiry of an urgent nature, during intermissions between plenary sessions of the Assembly of the Republic;
- prepare and organise sessions of the Assembly of the Republic;
- exercise such other functions as are conferred by the Bylaws of the Assembly of the Republic;
- conduct the work of the plenary sessions;
- announce the loss of office and resignation of deputies, as well as suspensions, in terms of the Constitution and the Bylaws of the Assembly of the Republic;
- decide on questions of interpretation of the Bylaws of the Assembly of the Republic during intermissions between plenary sessions;
- integrate the initiatives of deputies, the benches or the Government in the work of each session;
- support the President of the Assembly of the Republic in the administrative and financial management of the Assembly.
Article 196. Parliamentary Benches
- The deputies elected by each political party may set up a parliamentary bench.
- The formation and organisation of benches shall be provided for in the Bylaws of the Assembly of the Republic.
Article 197. Powers of the Parliamentary Benches
- The Parliamentary Benches shall have the following powers:
- to present candidates for the office of President of the Assembly of the Republic;
- to propose candidates for Vice President of the Assembly of the Republic;
- to nominate candidates for the Standing Commission of the Assembly of the Republic;
- to nominate candidates for commissions of the Assembly of the Republic;
- to exercise legislative initiative;
- to call for debate on current and urgent issues of national interest, with the presence of the Government;
- to call for the formation of parliamentary commissions of inquiry;
- to call for debate on urgent issues that are not on the agenda;
- to request information from and put questions to the Government.
- Each parliamentary bench shall be entitled to have access to places of work within the Assembly of the Republic, as well as to technical and administrative staff, in terms of the law.
Article 198. Government Five-Year Programme
- At the beginning of the legislative term, the Assembly of the Republic shall evaluate the Government programme.
- The Government may present a revised programme that takes into account the outcomes of the debate.
Article 199. Participation of Members of Government in the Sessions
- The Prime Minister and the Ministers shall be entitled to attend the plenary sessions of the Assembly of the Republic, and shall have the right to speak, in accordance with the Bylaws.
- At plenary sessions of the Assembly of the Republic, the attendance of the member or members of Government that have been summoned shall be mandatory.