Angola’s main opposition party, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), has refused to concede victory to the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) — of President João Lourenço — in Wednesday’s general elections, claiming that the process was marred by irregularities in the count.
UNITA leader Adalberto Costa Júnior has refused to concede defeat, in his first official statement after the vote at a press conference in the capital, Luanda, late Friday.
Costa Júnior has claimed that “brutal” discrepancies were found between the mandates the National Electoral Commission (CNE) received and those it should have received.
“UNITA does not recognize the provisional results announced by the electoral commission,” Costa Júnior said, in statements picked up by Bloomberg, urging Angolans to remain calm. “The party-state must understand that sovereignty resides in the people,” the opposition leader added.
The opposition party had repeatedly claimed that the electoral process, which was monitored by some 1,300 domestic and foreign observers, was opaque. Costa Júnior challenged the national electoral body to accept the creation of a working group to examine the polling station records.
The plenary of the CNE has decided this Friday to reject the complaint filed by UNITA on the procedure of the election results.
The spokesman of the electoral commission, Lucas Quilundo, has pointed out that “the claim of this political formation was analyzed during the extraordinary session of the mentioned plenary, which rejected the presented request, for being irregularly grounded, it does not correspond to what is established in the Organic Law”, as reported by Angop news agency.
Quilundo has explained in statements to the press that the request of the opposition party has omitted information that should have been “provided immediately”.
In this regard, the spokesman has referred to Article 135 of the Organic Law on General Elections, due to the fact that the disclosure of the provisional results is based on Article 135. However, UNITA has relied on Article 123 on the Minutes of the Boards of the Voting Assemblies.
Therefore, considering that the disclosure of the provisional results corresponds to Article Number 135 of the Organic Law on General Elections, the Plenary of the CNE unanimously resolved to reject the precautionary measure.
“In general, the observation missions were unanimous in their reports, verifying that the general elections in Angola were conducted in accordance with international requirements and fundamentally in accordance with the legal precepts of the Angolan Constitution,” Lucas Quilundo emphasized.
According to NEC data, the MPLA won the elections with 51.07 percent of the votes and obtained 124 seats; compared to 44.05 percent of the ballots received by UNITA, which obtained 90 deputies.
With this provisional data, the MPLA candidate, João Lourenço, was elected at the polls for the position of President of the Republic, followed by Adalberto Costa Júnior (UNITA), Benedito Daniel (PRS), Florbela Malaquias (PHA) and Nimi a Simbi (FNLA).
The big loser of the elections was the Broad Convergence for the Salvation of Angola (CASA-CE) coalition, which will not have representation in the Assembly, after having had 16 deputies in the previous legislature.
The National Patriotic Alliance (APN) and the National Party for Justice in Angola (P-NJANGO) will also not be represented in the revalidation of President Lourenço’s mandate, whose formation has monopolized the African country’s politics since it gained independence from Portugal back in 1975.
The electoral and security authorities have coincided in pointing out that the electoral day has passed without any major incidents, highlighting the “civility” shown by the voters at all times.