Angola election judged ‘free and fair’
Angola’s final election results will be released by the end of the week, the electoral commission said on Monday, with the tally having already sealed another term for veteran President Jose Eduardo dos Santos.
“We should be able to announce the final result by the end of the week, knowing that we have until September 15 to do so,” National Electoral Commission spokeswoman Julia Ferreira told reporters.
Foreign observers have given the vote a clean bill of health, in only the country’s third elections since 1975, despite opposition parties saying the commission’s results differed from those being registered at polling stations.
The final announcement is set to be a mere formality, with the latest partial results showing the ruling People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) taking 72.2 per cent of the vote with 90 per cent of polling stations reporting.
The main opposition National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (Unita), a former guerilla movement, had won 18.4 per cent of votes, while the newcomer Casa party formed by breakaways from both main parties had obtained 5.9 per cent.
“After the publication of the final results, the MPLA will announce the formation of a new government which will work for all Angolans without exception,” Dos Santos said on Sunday night at a ceremony to celebrate his 70th birthday, the Angop news agency reported.
Under the Angolan constitution the head of the party that wins the parliamentary vote becomes president.
Dos Santos, who celebrated his birthday on Tuesday, entered the elections seen as likely to secure another term after 33 years in power.
The foreign missions judged the polls as free and fair but have recommended improvements in accreditation for observers and access to state media for parties.
After a devastating 27-year civil war, the elections are the country’s second in peacetime and the third since independence from Portugal in 1975.