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.
Opposition groups claim that the August poll suffered from problems from the very beginning, citing issues with voter registration, election day and vote counting. However, observers praised the poll as peaceful and orderly, and the opposition has not yet produced compelling evidence of irregularities.
Angola analyst Paula Cristina Roque of the University of Oxford says the opposition’s legal challenges are unlikely to be approved by the nation’s highest court, as recently happened in Kenya. That’s because Angola’s Constitutional Court is largely seen as being beholden to the ruling party.
Full Article: Angola’s New President Overshadowed by Election Complaints.