Angola’s constitutional court on Wednesday upheld the ruling party’s landslide win in last month’s election which will usher in the MPLA’s fourth decade in power and rejected opposition claims the poll was flawed. The ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola won 61.7 percent of the vote, and 150 of the 220 seats in parliament, the country’s electoral commission said in its final results. President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos, 75, who has ruled since 1979 and is reportedly in poor health, will hand over to former defence minister Joao Lourenco at the presidential inauguration expected on September 21.
Angola’s first new president in decades has a big job ahead of him: He inherits a nation mired in recession, plagued with corruption, and home to some of the worst income inequality seen anywhere in the world. Worse still, the falling price of oil — the nation’s main cash cow — means that president-elect Joao Lourenco has limited means to dig his nation out of this difficult situation. He also starts this historic epoch in Angolan history with a credibility issue, after four of the five opposition parties challenged the official results, saying they performed better than official results indicate. However, no one disputes that Lourenco’s party, the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola, won the largest share of votes. He is the chosen successor of longtime president Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who is stepping down after 38 years in power. But his main challenger, UNITA leader Isaias Samakuva, says Lourenco did not win fairly. These results, he said, are too similar to results produced in a former election, in 2012.
Angola’s election commission on Monday rejected accusations of irregularities in last month’s vote which saw the MPLA party, which has ruled since 1975, retain power. Four defeated opposition parties complained that the August 23 election was conducted incorrectly, with ballot boxes and voter forms allegedly disappearing. Election commission chief Andre da Silva Neto told reporters that the body “categorically rejected the criticism”, which he said was a deliberate “attempt to discredit the Angolan electoral process”.
Four opposition parties in Angola on Sunday called for a recount in last month’s general election, alleging “irregularities” during the vote that kept the ruling party in power. The MPLA party of outgoing President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos won just over 61 percent of the votes cast on 23 August and an absolute majority with 150 of the 220 seats in parliament, according to a provisional vote count. The commission is due to release the official results on Wednesday. Isaias Samakuva, head of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), read a statement to reporters saying the process to determine definitive election results “was not conducted, in a large number of cases, in accordance with the law”. The statement was signed by three other leaders of Angola’s main opposition parties.
Angola’s two biggest opposition parties rejected provisional results from an Aug. 23 election that gave the ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola a majority of votes. The southern African nation’s second-biggest opposition party, the Broad Consensus for Angola Salvation – Electoral Coalition, known as Casa-Ce, said in an emailed statement that the vote count lacked transparency and wasn’t based on reliable information. Its refusal to accept the outcome came after the biggest opposition party, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, or Unita, said Aug. 26 that it didn’t consider the provisional results valid.
The Angolan National Electoral Commission (CNE) announced yesterday that it has already processed the tallying of the final results of the August 23 elections in 11 of the 18 provinces, according to its spokesperson, Júlia Ferreira. These are the provinces of Bengo, Benguela, Cabinda, Cuando-Cubango, Cunene, Huíla, Kwanza-Norte, Kwanza-Sul, Luanda, Moxico and Zaire. However, the Angolan opposition parties claim that 11 of the country’s 18 provinces – Bengo, Bié, Cuando-Cubango, Cunene, Huambo, Kwanza-Sul, Luanda, Lunda-Norte, Lunda-Sul, Malanje, Moxico – have still not verified their results as the law requires. This list includes five of the provinces in which the CNE declares the counting is complete: Bengo, Cuando-Cubango, Kwanza-Sul, Luanda, and Moxico. The various provincial electoral commissions have declared that they have completed their task, but the commissioners appointed by opposition parties are refusing to approve the vote tallies from these provinces.
The leader of Angola’s main opposition party called on the country’s electoral commission on Saturday to explain how it compiled provisional election results giving the ruling MPLA party a landslide victory. Isaias Samakuva said his UNITA party, which has rejected the published results of Wednesday’s national ballot, was conducting a parallel count using polling station records and computer software that did not tally with the commission’s figures. “Where did those results come from?” Samakuva asked supporters at the party’s campaign headquarters in Luanda. “The CNE (commission) must explain to Angolans what it did wrong and why it did it.”
One of Angola’s main opposition parties plans to contest the results of last week’s general election, alleging unfair conduct during the vote that kept the ruling party of former president Jose Eduardo Dos Santos in power. The ruling MPLA party won just over 61 percent of the votes cast on Wednesday and about 150 of the 220 seats in Parliament, according to election commission officials, which would put a Dos Santos loyalist, Joao Lourenco, in the presidency. But the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) has accused the government of manipulating the vote, for example by depriving opposition groups of media access.
The ruling party in Angola has claimed a widely expected election victory, setting the stage for a change of leadership after decades of authoritarian rule by the cold war veteran José Eduardo dos Santos. Though final results from Wednesday’s voting were still being counted, the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) said it was on track to win a two-thirds parliamentary majority, based on its calculations. In Angola, political parties are allowed to observe the elections by posting party members at every polling station and by assimilating results, the parties attempt to predict the election outcome. Though the MPLA has yet to lose an electoral contest since a return to multiparty democracy 25 years ago, the real significance of the poll was that 74-year-old Dos Santos, who has ruled Angola for 38 years, did not stand as a presidential candidate.
Angolans voted Wednesday in an election in which the defense minister is the front-runner to succeed President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who will step down after 38 years in power in an oil-rich country beset by widespread poverty and corruption. About 9.3 million Angolans were registered to vote for the 220-member National Assembly; the winning party will then select the president. Dos Santos’ chosen successor is Joao Lourenco, the defense minister and a former governor who fought in the war against Portuguese colonial rule as well as the long civil war that ended in 2002. Dos Santos, accompanied by wife Ana Paula dos Santos, and Lourenco voted separately in Luanda, the capital, reported the state-run Agencia Angola Press. The main opposition leader, Isaias Samakuva of the UNITA party, cast his ballot at a university in a Luanda suburb.
Excitement and suspicion are swirling around Angola’s capital as the nation readies itself for a historic vote Wednesday, in the first election many citizens will have seen without the longtime president on the ballot. Jose Eduardo dos Santos is stepping down after 38 years in power. Five parties are challenging his powerful People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola, or MPLA, which has ruled since independence in 1975 and is widely expected to win again. Already, the two main opposition parties, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, or UNITA, and Broad Convergence for the Salvation of Angola Electoral Coalition, or CASA-CE, have said they see irregularities in the election preparations.
An Angolan opposition party, CASA-CE, said on Monday it will use a computer program to minimize the chances of ballot-rigging in next Wednesday’s election. The country’s main two opposition parties, National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) and Broad Convergence for the Salvation of Angola – Electoral Coalition (CASA-CE), have complained of irregularities in the electoral process. The People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), which has ruled Angola since independence from Portugal in 1975, is expected to win this week’s election. CASA-CE’s program, presented to media in Luanda on Monday, will calculate results based on data from delegates at polling stations.
It is a contest that will be familiar to many – not just in Angola but in every country across Africa where anyone remembers the cold war. It pits the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), the political party that has ruled the southern African country for more than four decades, against the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (Unita), which has been battling to gain control for more than 50 years. The two are no longer warring over trenches, airstrips and dusty roads through scrubby forests, but fighting for the backing of 9 million voters as Angola goes to the polls on Wednesday to elect a new president. Angola’s civil war lasted more than 25 years, ending in 2002, leaving the country devastated. Since then more than $100bn has been spent on reconstruction. The stakes are now not quite as high as when MPLA troops, backed by Cuba and the Soviet Union, clashed with Unita forces, supported by South Africa and the US, in the 1980s, but few doubt the importance of the poll.
The campaign for the August 23’s general election in Angola begins today for last week. It can be decisive in the search of the vote for next parliament. Since the official election beginning of last July 23, 22 days ago, the presidential candidates of the six leading forces traveled nationwide to present their programs, some more elaborate than others, with change as a more repeated expression. While the ruling PeopleÂ´s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) holds the word ‘change’ in its draft, the rest of contenders are seeking out to replace the party that has been running the nation for nearly 42 years.
The Angolan electoral commission has received the August 23 election materials from the Spanish company contracted to produce them. The Spanish company INDRA airlifted about 690 tonnes of election materials to the capital Luanda on Saturday and presented them to the head of the National Electoral Commission (CNE) André da Silva Neto, the Angola news agency reported. The materials include electoral rolls, ballot papers, computer equipment, tablets, bead printers, solar panels, fingerprint readers, ballot cabins and ballot boxes, vests, tents, and indelible ink among others.
Electoral campaigns began over the weekend in Angola, with just a month to go before voters head to the polls on August 23. The official campaigns began quietly with André da Silva Neto, head of the National Electoral Commission, calling for tolerance and respect for order, according to the state-affiliated ANGOP news agency. The 2017 elections move forward without the ailing President Eduardo Jose dos Santos, who announced earlier this year he would not be seeking re-election. He has been the president of Angola since 1979. The longtime ruling party Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) was quick to rally and began door-to-door campaigning for presidential candidate João Lourenço in Luanda on Saturday.
Angola has rejected conditions demanded by an EU election observer mission that had been preparing to witness next month’s polls in the country, state media reported on Monday. The European team had called for unfettered access to polling stations across the vast southern African nation during the August 23 vote. “So this is Africa. And we do not expect anyone to impose on us their means of observing elections or to give lectures,” said Foreign Minister Georges Chicoti according to the Journal de Angola newspaper. “The invitation stands. But we do not want to have separate agreements with all of the organisations (sending observers).”
Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos’ ruling People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola took more than two thirds of the vote in general elections. “The MPLA has won 71.8 percent of the votes, the Union for the Total Independence of Angola (Unita) 18.6 percent and Casa (Broad Convergence for Angola’s Salvation) six percent,” National Electoral Commission president Andre da Silva Neto told reporters. “In light of these results Jose Eduardo dos Santos, first on the MPLA’s list, is proclaimed president of the republic and Manuel Vicente, second on the list, is proclaimed deputy president,” he added. The leader of the winning party automatically becomes head of state, according to a constitutional change in 2010. “The MPLA will have 175 deputies in the National Assembly, Unita 32, Casa eight, the PRS (Party of Social Renovation) three and the FNLA (National Liberation Front of Angola) two,” said Neto.
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.
President Jose Eduardo dos Santos’ ruling party has won 73 percent of the national vote assuring his government, in power for 32 years, another five years in power. With 85 percent of the votes counted from Friday’s poll, the state election commission said Sunday that the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola, or MPLA, has gained a large majority. The MPLA will control Angola’s 220 seat legislature, but the party’s margin of victory is down from the 82 percent that it won in 2008. The largest opposition party, UNITA, won 18 percent of the vote, nearly twice its share from 2008. And newcomer party, CASA-CE, gained five percent. Both opposition parties criticized the elections for not being free and fair.
Angola’s main opposition called on Friday for the August 31 national election to be postponed for a month to allow time to correct a lack of transparency in the poll and violations of the electoral law. Campaigning for the election, only the second in Africa’s No. 2 oil producer since the 27-year civil war ended a decade ago, has been marked by wrangling over transparency. Voters will elect a parliament and the leader of the biggest party will then become president. Isaias Samakuva, leader of the main opposition UNITA party, told Reuters a combination of “incompetence” at the national elections commission (CNE) and interference from the ruling MPLA party means current preparations will lead to an unfair vote. His party plans to hold nationwide rallies on Saturday to pressure the CNE into correcting what it says are problems and irregularities with the publication of the electoral roll, supervision of vote counting and transmission of results.
The Angolan government announced the mobilization of more than 70,000 police, in order to ensure public peace in the upcoming general elections on the 31. The second general commander of public order, Paulo de Almeida, confirmed in statements to the press that all the members of that body have already been trained and informed about their duties in the upcoming election. In addition he noted that if necessary, the police will be assisted by Angolan Armed Forces.
On August 31, the Angolan people will have an historic opportunity to voice their democratic aspirations. For only the second time since the end of Angola’s devastating civil war, the southern African nation’s citizens will go to the polls and choose their leaders by voting. Angola has an opportunity to demonstrate to the world the stability, vibrancy and plurality of its young democracy. The United States supports the Angolan people’s democratic aspirations and will accompany them through this electoral process. Our government has provided $2 million this year in support for civil society to train domestic observers and conduct voter education, as well as to train journalists in objective electoral coverage.
A rebel group that has fought for the independence of Angola’s oil-producing northern enclave of Cabinda for nearly four decades wants to hold talks with the Angolan government after national elections on Aug. 31, its leader said. The Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC) has fought a low-level insurgency for 38 years. It grabbed world headlines in January 2010 for a deadly attack on a bus carrying the Togo national soccer team during the African Nations Cup held in Angola. “FLEC is observing the start of campaigning for the general election in Angola and will take the necessary measures to explore official and direct contact with the government that wins the ballot on Aug. 31,” FLEC leader Nzita Henriques Tiago, who is in exile in Paris, said in a statement on Sunday. The Aug. 31 election will choose lawmakers and a president. Analysts predict President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos, in power for 32 years, will lead his MPLA party to an easy win.
Angola’s two main political parties promised to improve living conditions in the oil-rich nation as they launched campaigns for the general election at rallies in the capital Tuesday. The ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and its longtime rival the National Union for the Independence of Angola (Unita), picked the same neighbourhood of Viana in Luanda for their first rallies ahead of the August 31 polls. Angola’s oil exports have seen the economy of the country scarred by a three-decade civil war grow rapidly, but most Angolans still live in grinding poverty.
An Angolan court on Thursday reversed the appointment of the election commission head, linked to the ruling party, because she did not qualify for the post, opposition parties said. The parties had petitioned the court on Suzana Ingles’ appointment as head of the National Electoral Commission (CNE). “The Supreme Court found that our complaint was justified and that the nomination of Suzana Inglese was illegal,” main opposition Unita MP Clarisse Kaputu told AFP. “In fact Ms Ingles is not a judge while it’s one of the conditions as required by law to take over leadership of the CNE,” she said.
The Angolan Home Affairs minister Sebastiao Martins has announced the strengthening of operational capacity of national police to ensure a climate of peace and tranquillity during the 2012 general elections. Speaking at the opening of Consultative Council meeting held Monday in Luanda, Sebastiao Martins considered priority the effective compliance of immediate strategy for securing the elections, “at a time when there are growing expectations of political power and society.”
The electoral registration updating process, being carried out until December, will cover prisoners, assured this Friday, in Luanda, Angolan Home Affairs minister, Sebastião Martins.
He made this statement after updating his electoral registration, being carried out at the Home Affairs Ministry, where is functioning a registration office for the workers.
The minister of Territory Administration, Bornito de Sousa, said Tuesday in Luanda that the National Electoral Commission (CNE), as designed in the draft resolution approved by the National Assembly (Angolan Parliament), has an “absolutely immaculate independence”.
“It is an independent commission, not only from the Executive, but also from the president of the Republic, from the parties themselves and from the judicial power,” said the politician. Bornito de Sousa was reacting to utterances by some opposition MPs, about the polemic article 107 of the Constitution which states that the elections shall be organised by independent organs.
The Angolan vice-minister of Territory Administration for Institutional and Electoral Affairs, Adão de Almeida, Saturday in Luanda appealed to all citizens to participate in raising civic awareness on the electoral register update.
“Electoral register is a commitment with peace and democracy, therefore everyone who likes peace must participate in the process. We are all devoted to consolidating peace and promoting the development of democracy in Angola,” said the Government official.