Angola’s ruling party claims election victory

The governing party in Angola, Marxist People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola, MPLA has claimed victory in the country’s election held on Wednesday, after the Election Commission pegged it votes as 51%.

The election which recorded a low turn out of voters appears to give incumbent President Joao Lourenco another five-year term, extending MPLA’s rule in Angola since gaining independence in 1975 from Portugal.

Have the official results been announced yet?

No, but with more than 97% of the votes counted, the Election Commission says MPLA is favoured with a 51% majority to win the election ahead of its longtime opponent, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, UNITA, who polled 44.5%.

The leader of the main opposition coalition, Costa Junior, rejected the result, calling it a “brutal discrepancy between the commission’s count and their own tally”. He called for an international commission to review the tally.

What does the outcome of the poll mean for Angolans?

Although there are fears that any post election dispute could result in violence, the opposition leader called on Angolans to maintain calm.

The election is Angola’s most closely contested, with an unprecedented gain for the opposition in parliamentary seats. If the result tally stays as it is, it means that the MPLA will not have two-third majority to pass major reforms and would therefore be needing the backing of opposition lawmakers.  

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