Angola to Hold General Elections in August
Angola will hold the country’s general elections on August 24th. The upcoming general election will decide who becomes the next president of the nation. President Joao Lourenco announced the date of the election to the Council of the Republic.
President Lourenco is a member of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and has been in the position for a long time. Lourenco was elected as president of Angola in 2017, taking over from Jose Eduardo dos Santos who had been the leader for 38 years.
According to reports, not all parties were happy when the announcement was made. The leader of the opposition party, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), Adalberto da Costa Júnior made accusations of favoritism toward certain political parties.
“The competitors in an electoral challenge do not have differentiated valences. The law puts them all in the same circumstances, so says our constitution, so say the laws. But as any serious and honest citizen evaluates, we are in a process of electoral approximation absolutely violating the laws,” he said. Da Costa Junior is well regarded as a popular and charismatic politician in Angolan politics.
This accusation was refuted by a member of the MPLA’s political bureau. Rui Falcão Pinto de Andrade said that his party had shown “organizational capacity” while their opponents “see a phenomenon that does not exist.”
The August 24th election is highly anticipated and has been touted in some media outlets as the most competitive since the end of Angola’s Civil War in 2002.
Still on Angola General Elections
MPLA has been shown to be 7% ahead of UNITA in an opinion poll on the forthcoming election. The ruling party will be facing a big challenge because the opposition parties in Angola joined forces and formed a coalition known as the United Patriotic Front. UNITA is part of this coalition, giving Da Costa Junior a great chance of success at the polls.
According to reports, the European Union is looking at the possibility of sending a team of election observers to Angola. This was discussed during the recent visit of the EU’s Director-General for Africa of the European Union’s External Action Service, Rita Laranjinha. All parties involved in the election, including opposition parties, met Laranjinha.
“What I heard from all political parties was that there is an interest in this presence of the European Union and therefore we are now waiting for the formalization of an invitation,” said Rita Laranjinha, Director for Africa at the European External Action Service.
“These electoral observation missions have the advantage of contributing so that the processes can be, what I heard from all the political parties, free and transparent electoral processes,” she added.
The National Electoral Commission of Angola confirmed that any organizations that would serve as observers during the election would be granted accreditation once the list of participants and coalitions taking part was confirmed by the Constitutional Court.