General elections will be held in October 2014, following an announcement by Mozambican president Armando Guebuza on 31 July.
Presidential, parliamentary and regional assembly votes will take place on 15 October next year – according to state news agency AIM – while Mozambicans living abroad can cast their votes three days earlier on 12 October.
The election date has generated renewed speculation on the potential candidates and uncertainty over the future leader of the southern African nation. Although the incumbent president retains support, he is forbidden by law from seeking a third term of office.
Guebuza won the last election in 2009 with 75 per cent of the vote and his Frelimo party increased its majority to 191 seats in the 250-member legislature. Guebuza is also into his third term as head of Frelimo but says he will not run again.
The election date was recommended by the National Election Committee and was adopted following a meeting with the State Council of the Republic. A presidential statement said that it is "extremely important for the presidential and legislative polls and the nomination of provincial assemblies to be held simultaneously countrywide."
The announcement comes as the Frelimo-led government attempts to negotiate with opposition Renamo rebels amid political and military tension in the country. In April the rebels reignited a campaign of guerrilla-style attacks on civil vehicles in the central Sofala province, the base of Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama and his several hundred armed supporters. The rebels' return to violence came after more than two decades since the end of the nation's brutal civil war (1975-1992).
Representatives of Renamo are calling for economic and political reforms, including changes in an electoral law they claim benefits the ruling National Liberation Front (Frelimo).
Renamo, the party of Guebuza's long-time rival Afonso Dhlakama, took 16.5 percent of the vote in 2009. Prior to that election Dhlakama said that if he lost he would not stand again in 2014.
Local elections take place in Mozambique on 20 November this year, following a recent voter registration excercise of the country's 3.5 million eligible voters.