Pope Francis congratulates Angolan present-elect

Pope Francis. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

The head of the Catholic Church in the world, Pope Francis, has congratulated Angolan president-elect João Lourenço.

Pope Francis, in a message, wished the former Defence minister success in his new role.

“I wish to present my compliments and wishes of success in your term of service and cohesion, harmony and prosperity to the nation,” the state-owned Jornal de Angola quoted Pope Francis as saying in a message Thursday.

The president-elect has also been congratulated by the leaders of Russia, China, Portugal, France, Brazil, Cameroon, Guinea Bissau and Togo.

The US State Department also congratulated Mr Lourenço.

The votes cast

The ruling MPLA flag bearer was a fortnight ago confirmed by the Constitutional Court (CC) as the winner of the Angolan presidency.

Mr Lourenço, 63, will be installed on September 26 in Luanda, replacing President dos Santos, after 38 years in power, but extending MPLA's 42-year rule.

Mr Bornito de Sousa will be inaugurated as the vice-president.

The National Electoral Commission (CNE) confirmed that MPLA had won the August 23 poll with 61.07 per cent vote and 150 MPs

Unita came second with 26.7 per cent of the votes cast and 51 MPs, while Casa-Ce was third with 9.4 per cent and 16 MPs.

Fourth was the social Renovation Party (PRS) with 1.45 per cent of the vote and two MPs, followed by the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA) with 0.93 per cent and a single MP, then the National Patriotic Alliance (APN) with 0.51 per cent and no MP.

The election was Angola's fourth since independence from Portugal in 1975 and the third since the end of the war in 2002.

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