Angolan opposition Unita hands leader Samakuva new term

Angolan main opposition Unita leader Isaías Samakuva. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Angolan main opposition party Unita has resolved to retain Mr Isaías Samakuva as its president for one more term.

The decision was made on Saturday at the close of the Union for the Total Independence of Angola (Unita) ordinary meeting in Viana municipality in Luanda.

The third Unita Political Commission gave Mr Samakuva the new term with 169 (86 per cent) votes in favour and 24 (12 per cent) against.

Party veterans Jaka Jamba, Ernesto Mulato and Alcides Sakala oversaw the exercise.

Party's founder

Mr Samakuva's fourth term was due to expire in 2019.

Unita officials Abílio Kamalata Numa, Adalberto da Costa Junior and Rafael Massanga Savimbi, the son of the party's founder Jonas Savimbi, had expressed their desire to run for its presidency.

Mr Samakuva in October announced his intention to retire from the party leadership.

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He has led Unita since 2003 when he replaced Dr Savimbi at the party's ninth congress.

Unita was founded by Dr Savimbi in 1966.

The controversial but charismatic Dr Savimbi led Unita in a 27-year civil war with the Angolan government, before transitioning into the main opposition party.

He was killed in a battle against the government forces on February 22, 2002.


Mr Samakuva was the Unita flagbearer in last August's election, which saw the ruling MPLA retain the presidency and dominance in parliament.

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

MPLA won 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.

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