Angolan democracy turned another page when the nation went to the polls on 31 August. The ruling party MPLA won with 72% of the vote – 10% less than in 2008 but still a huge majority. Voter participation was approximately 63%, a drop of nearly 20% from 2008. Voter apathy could be attributable to the fact that in the minds of many Angolans the victory of the MPLA was never in doubt. Predictions of unrest and violence in the run-up and after the elections were unfounded. The opposition parties UNITA and CASA-CE have alleged fraud and called the election process into question. Their main criticisms are that the Angolan National Election Commission (CNE) failed to accredit party observers to all polling stations and that the voter register was not made public. Both parties will contest the results from some polling stations where they did not have observers present but this will happen within the framework of the law. UNITA has stated that they will provide a dossier ‘proving fraud’. But any legal challenge will likely be a long drawn-out affair and may fizzle-out as the MPLA get on with running the country.
UNITA nearly doubled its support from 10% in 2008 to nearly 19% and this will temper any misgivings about the process. Likewise, CASA-CE which was only formed in March this year, will be pleased to have entered parliament on their first try with around 6% of the vote. The elections were judged free and credible by SADC observers, and the head of the African Union observer mission and former president of Cape Verde, Pedro Pires, stated that the elections proceeded ‘satisfactorily’ and were an improvement from 2008.
Full Article: allAfrica.com: Angola Post-Election – What Next?.