Angola's Unita mulls House boycott

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

Angola's leading opposition party Unita is considering boycotting parliament following the Constitutional Court's (CC) Wednesday validation of the August 23 General Election result.

The Union for the Total Independence of Angola (Unita) spokesman, Mr Alcides Sakala, told journalists in Luanda that the party top organ would soon make a final decision on the matter.

“Unita has been considering this possibility, but the party’s top organs will have the final say sooner,” said Mr Sakala.

CC on Wednesday dismissed a petition by a united opposition challenging the ruling MPLA victory in the August contest.

The CC decision is final and not subject to appeal, according to the country’s constitution.

Fake minutes

Consequently, MPLA flag bearer and former Defence minister João Lourenço, will on September 21 be installed as Angola's new president.

The 63-year-old Lourenço will replace President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, after 38 years in power, but extend MPLA's 42-year rule.

CC, on dismissing the petition, said the documents presented before it by the petitioners had strong evidence of falsification, some minutes were erased or altered and others duplicated.

It singled out the Social Renovation Party (PRS) for presenting fake minutes and warned that it would be held criminally responsible.

But PRS president Benedito Daniel dismissed the findings, adding that they were awaiting a formal notification from the court.

Unita leader Isaias Samakuva had soon after the release of the provisional results by the National Electoral Commission (CNE), said his party would use all legal means to prove that the election was stolen.

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 21. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

An appeal to the international community for support, calls for nationwide demonstrations and House boycott were some of the options presented by Mr Samakuva.

The Broad Convergence for the Salvation of Angola- Electoral Coalition (Casa-Ce) said it would issue a statement on the court decision after its meeting on Thursday.

“The coalition will meet tomorrow (Thursday) to analyse the entire process then decide on what to do,” Casa-Ce National Secretary for Communication Felix Miranda said on Wednesday.

The National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA) spokesperson, Mr João Benghy Vundu, said his party would respect the court decision, but maintained the election results were fabricated.

Were obscure

“Before elections, we already knew FNLA would only have one MP. The elections results were made in laboratory. The elections were obscure. We will respect the court’s decision because it is final.”

Earlier this month Unita, Casa-Ce, PRS and FNLA united to challenge the election outcome.

The parties said in a statement that the provisional results announced by CNE were illegal and unconstitutional.

The four parties vowed to challenge the election results, adding that there was a need for a vote recount.

The parties also faulted the civil society groups and the churches that gave the August 23 election a clean bill of health.

Since independence

The aggrieved parties said the election was characterised by the disappearance of some ballot boxes and the mysterious appearance of new ones, among other irregularities.

Last week, CNE confirmed that MPLA had won the 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 PRS, with 1.45 per cent of the vote and two MPs, followed by the 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 August 23 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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