Angola’s president, MPLA party declared winner of divisive election

By Thomson Reuters Aug 29, 2022 | 9:30 AM

LISBON (Reuters) -Angola’s electoral commission on Monday declared the ruling MPLA, in power for nearly five decades, the winner of last week’s national election, handing President Joao Lourenco a second term.

The election commission gave the ex-Marxist People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) a 51.17% majority after all votes were counted while its longtime opponent, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, or UNITA, got 43.95%, its best result ever.

Fewer than half of Angola’s registered voters turned out for Wednesday’s election, which despite being the closest fought yet, will extend the rule of MPLA to beyond 50 years since independence from Portugal in 1975.

UNITA leader Adalberto Costa Junior has rejected the results, citing discrepancies between the commission’s count and the main opposition coalition’s own tally.

He did not immediately respond to the final results announcement.

Analysts fear any dispute could ignite mass street protests and possible violence among a poor and frustrated youth who voted for Junior.

The announcement came a day after the funeral of Angola’s long-serving ex-ruler and MPLA stalwart, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who died in Spain in July, so security in the capital Luanda was tight.

(Reporting by Catarina Demony; Writing by Tim Cocks; editing by John Stonestreet and Nick Macfie)