Angola’s opposition party challenges election results

angola's opposition party challenges election results
angola’s opposition party challenges election results

According to a letter obtained , Angola’s biggest opposition party has filed a formal complaint questioning the electoral commission’s declaration that the ruling party won last week’s election.

National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), the main opposition party, said in a separate statement on Tuesday that it will lodge a complaint to delay the announcement of election results.

When UNITA wrote to the commission on Monday, it was unclear if they were filing the same complaint.

The commission declared the ruling People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) the winner, extending the MPLA’s nearly 50 years of uninterrupted rule and giving President Joao Lourenco a second term in office, despite it being the most closely contested election since independence from Portugal in 1975.

Despite the fact that many Angolan citizens were dissatisfied with President Joao Lourenco’s decision to run for a second term, most would agree that he has made significant progress in combating corruption inside the ruling party. READ MORE

Only slightly more than half of voters backed the ex-Marxist.

Angola’s Joao Lourenco wins election, extending its reign

It referred to the MPLA. The committee reports that UNITA, a long-standing rival and an enemy throughout the civil war, won roughly 44%.

A representative for UNITA at the commission “was not provided the right to record in the result sheet his complaint regarding the electoral results,” according to the party’s letter.

Adalberto Costa Junior, leader of UNITA, has stated on multiple occasions over the past few days that he does not accept the results of the referendum and that objections have been lodged.

“UNITA reiterates that it will not recognise the results reported by the National Electoral Commission until the complaints already in its custody are handled,” the party stated in a statement released on Tuesday.

If UNITA wants to contest the results, it must file a complaint with the commission in accordance with Angolan law. If that is not successful, the party may appeal to the Constitutional Court, which must make a decision within 72 hours.

Former MPLA member and Lourenco appointee Laurinda Cardoso will preside over the Constitutional Court of Angola beginning in August 2021. Despite claims from analysts that the MPLA exercises control over the court, Lourenco maintains that it functions autonomously.

Former President Manuel Aragao of the Constitutional Court resigned last year after voting against constitutional reforms he called a “suicide of the democratic rule and law.”

Edmilson Angelo, an Angolan political expert, predicted that UNITA will concede defeat but maintain its denial of the vote disparity.

Angelo argued that this would let people “be consistent with their opinion on the electoral process” while also calming any unrest that would otherwise break out.

There have been no major demonstrations, but experts warn it only takes one disagreement to spark unrest in the streets.

In the years following independence, anti-colonial guerrilla groups such as the MPLA and UNITA fought each other until 2002, when UNITA’s rebel commander Jonas Savimbi was murdered by Angolan troops.

After probing the affluent and influential Dos Santos family, Lourenco, 68, has vowed to continue cleaning up corruption and privatising badly managed state assets in his second term.

Jose Eduardo dos Santos, leader of the MPLA, controlled Angola for nearly four decades till his death in Spain in July. His successor, Joao Lourenco, took over the country the following year.

Angola is Africa’s second largest oil producer, but the country’s massive oil wealth is still concentrated in the hands of a small number of politically influential MPLA leaders despite Lourenco’s efforts to democratise the sector.

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