Angolan Ruling Party Wins National Election

Angola’s MPLA party has won the country’s general election, extending its hold on power and ensuring that Defense Minister Joao Lourenco will be the country’s next president.

The National Electoral Commission said Friday that MPLA received just over 61 percent of the vote in Wednesday’s election The main opposition UNITA party came in second with 26.7 percent.

A commission spokesperson says nearly all the votes have been counted.

UNITA had questioned earlier provisional results, saying their independent tallies gave them a greater share of the vote. The party has not said whether it will challenge the results in court.

Lourenco was picked by MPLA to replace President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who is stepping down after leading Angola for the past 38 years.

Despite its commanding victory, MPLA’s share of the vote was significantly lower than in its previous victories. In the 2008 eleciton, the party won 82 percent the vote. In the last election in 2012, the party received 72 percent.

The MPLA has dominated all aspects of public life in Angola — and is accused of plundering state resources in the oil-rich nation. During the campaign, opposition parties accused the ruling party of using government resources for campaigning. The MPLA has denied irregularities, and observers have largely praised the poll for being peaceful and orderly.


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