40,000 expected at Angola power transfer fete

The ruling People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) presidential candidate Joao Lourenco casts his vote in Luanda on August 23, 2017 during Angola's General Election. He is expected to be installed as president on September 26, 2017. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

At least 40,000 people are expected to attend the inauguration of João Lourenço as Angola's new president in Luanda on Tuesday.

The Sate-owned newspaper Jornal de Angola said Monday that among the guest would be some 30 heads of state and government.

“The estimation is that 40,000 people, both nationals and foreigners, will be at Praça da República in Marginal da Praia do Bispo to attend the inauguration,” Jornal de Angola quoted Luanda’s deputy governor Joaquim Malichi saying.

“We have worked hard and did not have any constraints, we have are catering for some 40,000 people.''

Mr Lourenço, the former Defence minister, was the ruling MPLA party flag bearer in the August 23 election.

Foreign minister

He will be taking over from President Jose Eduardo dos Santos after 38 years in power.

Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa arrived in Lunda on Monday, ready for the power transfer ceremony.

He was received at the Aeroporto Internacional 4 de Fevereiro by Angolan Foreign minister George Chicoty.

The Portuguese leader said on arrival that his visit was a demonstration of the friendship between Angola and Portugal.

“My presence here means the reaffirmation of feelings of friendship and fraternity of Portuguese towards the Angolan people,” the Portuguese leader said.

Zimbabwean Vice-President Phelekela Mphoko and East Timor Foreign ministers were also already in Luanda.

Russia President Vladimir Putin and British Prime Minister Theresa May, could also attend the ceremony, according to the Foreign ministry sources.

End of the war

The Tuesday ceremony will also see Mr Bornito de Sousa installed as Angola's new vice-president.

The National Electoral Commission (CNE) confirmed that MPLA 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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