Angolans vote to pick president, MPs Wednesday
Angolans are preparing to go to polls Wednesday, 24 August. Tuesday is being devoted to reflection, after a 30-day campaign period that was considered peaceful by the police authorities, despite the exchange of accusations between the leaders of the main competing parties, MPLA and UNITA.
This is the fifth time the country has held elections, the first without José Eduardo dos Santos alive. He ruled and led the MPLA between 1979 and 2017, passed away on 8 July this year.
João Lourenço, president of the ruling Peoples’ Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) the party that has ruled Angola for some 47 years is running for his own succession and has been calling for a vote of confidence so that he can finish the reforms and fight against corruption he began in 2017.
Lourenço’s main opponent, Adalberto Costa Júnior, leader of the Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) who accuses the MPLA and its government of not having fulfilled the electoral promises made in 2017 and of wanting to “steal” the 2022 elections.
Analysts already consider these to be the most competitive polls in the country, after those of 1992, which had as main contenders José Eduardo dos Santos, for the MPLA and Jonas Malheiro Savimbi, for UNITA, both deceased.
Curiously, two of Savimbi’s sons appealed to vote for the MPLA and two of Dos Santos’ sons broke with the MPLA and campaigned for UNITA.
Mr Marcolino Moco, former MPLA Secretary General also joined the political project, called United Patriotic Front, led by Adalberto Costa Júnior, who has the politician Abel Chivukuvuku as candidate for the country´s Deputy President and gathers several civil society sensitivities.
National and foreign organisations and individuals invited to observe the elections are already on the ground, appealing for tranquillity and transparency.
Official sources indicate that around 14 million Angolans, including abroad, will vote to elect the President of the Republic and the 220 legislators that make up the Parliament.
With a population estimated at over 30 million, Angola has the second largest Portuguese-speaking population in the world (behind Brazil), is the second largest oil producer in Africa and one of the most unequal nations on the planet.