Ruling Angola’s ruling party wins closest-ever election

Angola’s long-dominant party has won another five years in power, but with a much-reduced majority, the Electoral Commission has announced.

The MPLA, under President João Lourenço, took 51.2 per cent in last week’s election. Its closest rival, UNITA, had it’s best-ever result with 44 per cent.

UNITA previously said it was considering contesting the outcome.

The MPLA, in power for nearly five decades, has faced criticism over high levels of poverty and unemployment.

Its share of the vote was down from the 61 per cent it gained in the previous elections in 2017, while UNITA’s share was sharply up from 27 per cent.

Despite Angola being rich in oil and minerals, many have not benefitted from that wealth.

UNITA’s leader, Adalberto Costa Júnior, last week rejected the provisional results, saying they did not match the party’s own tally.

The MPLA has been in power since independence from Portugal in 1975.

It fought a protracted civil war with UNITA until 2002, but the two decades of peace have not brought the gains that many had hoped for. Around half the population lives on less than $2 a day.

The Electoral Commission in Angola has declared President João Lourenço and his MPLA party the winners of last week’s national elections.

It took just over 51 per cent of the vote, with the opposition, UNITA party, polling it’s best-ever result at close to 44 per cent.

UNITA had rejected the provisional results announced on Thursday, alleging the count had been marred by irregularities.

The MPLA has been in government since independence in 1975, with the country ruled until 2017 by José Eduardo dos Santos, who died last month.

Mr Lourenço will be serving his second term as president. -BBC

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