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