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.
Articles about voting issues in the Republic of Angola.
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.