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 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.