Angolan opposition demands cancellation of August 24 elections – Lusa News Agency

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LISBON, Sept 1 (Reuters) – Angola’s main opposition party filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court on Thursday seeking the annulment of last week’s elections in which the ruling MPLA was declared the winner, Reuters reported. Portuguese news agency Lusa.

After the most contested election since independence from Portugal in 1975, the electoral commission declared the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) the winner, extending its nearly five decades of uninterrupted rule and giving a second mandate to President Joao Lourenço.

Just over 51% of voters had backed the ex-Marxist MPLA, he added. The National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), its longtime adversary and former civil war enemy, won around 44%, its best result ever, according to the commission. Read more

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UNITA has repeatedly stated that it does not recognize the results of the poll and that various complaints have been lodged with the electoral commission. The party cited discrepancies between the commission’s tally and the party’s own tally.

“The MPLA did not win the elections (…) we have been at peace for 20 years, and now we must adopt a real democratic rule of law,” UNITA leader Adalberto Costa Junior said in a statement. an address to the nation broadcast on his Facebook. page.

Earlier Thursday, the vice-president of UNITA’s parliamentary group told Portuguese TV channel RTP that in Luanda, Angola’s most populous province, the party was short of 187,000 votes.

Costa Junior did not mention the court case during his brief speech, but said he expected the commission and the constitutional court to do their job by comparing their vote tally with the party tally, which has not yet been fully published.

The commission has denied any wrongdoing and insists the election was fair and transparent.

UNITA decided to take the case to court after its complaints were rejected by the commission on Tuesday. Read more

“We will do everything to ensure that all votes are actually counted and respected,” said Costa Junior.

A source familiar with the matter confirmed to Reuters that the case was filed on Thursday afternoon.

The tribunal has 72 hours to notify all interested parties, and an additional 72 hours to rule on the matter. Analysts say the ruling party controls the court, which is headed by a former MPLA member, but the government says it exercises its powers independently.

Portuguese news agency Lusa quoted a source close to the UNITA leadership as saying the case listed “several complaints, which constitute illegalities” committed by the commission.

Lourenço, 68, has pledged to continue reforms in his second term, including privatizing mismanaged state assets and continuing to root out corruption.

But so far his reforms have failed to create a fairer distribution of Angola’s vast oil wealth – it is Africa’s second largest producer – which remains mostly in the hands of a few MPLA officials. well connected.

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Reporting by Catarina Demony; Editing by Sandra Maler

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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