Angola top court dismisses opposition petition against August 23 polls

The Angolan Constitutional Court on Wednesday dismissed an election petition challenging the outcome of the August 23 vote.

The court said after assessing the case filed by the opposition bloc, it found the results of the elections published by the National Electoral Commission “valid”.

The elections body, CNE, gave the ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) over 60% of votes in its final result declaration last week. It is the party’s fourth straight victory since the return to multi-party rule in 1992.

In its ruling, the highest judicial body in the country rejected all applications for annulment for “irregularities” filed by four opposition parties.

“The provincial recount was carried out within the legally established period and in accordance with the procedures provided for,” the Court said.

According to its president, Rui Ferreira, the courts studied all the appeals of the parties and considered that the elections had been “free, transparent and fair”.

The final results indicated that the MPLA, which has ruled the country since its independence in 1975, garnered 61.07% of the vote and an absolute majority of 150 seats in the 220-seater legislature.

According to the Angolan Constitution, MPLA candidate, former defense minister Joao Lourenço, 63, must therefore be invested on 21 September as President of the Republic.

He will succeed José Eduardo dos Santos, 75, who has decided to retire after close to four decades in charge of the former Portuguese colony.

Behind the MPLA, Unita (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola) obtained 26.67% of the votes and 51 legislators, whereas the Casa-CE (Great convergence for the salvation of Angola) accounted for 9.54% translating to 16 parliamentary seats.

Two other parties hostile to the regime, the PNS and the FNLA shared the last three seats of the new Parliament.

The leaders of these four opposition parties had threatened to “appeal to the people” if their appeal to the courts was rejected. President-elect Joao Lourenço in turn warned them against any “attempt to incite civil disobedience”.

Angola, whose population is one of the poorest on the African continent, has been struggling for three years in a serious economic and financial crisis caused by the fall in oil prices, its main source of income.

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