Angola’s largest opposition party UNITA says it will contest last week’s election results that saw the long-ruling MPLA win a majority.
Elections held on August 24 were the most hotly contested the oil-rich country has seen since its first multi-party vote in 1992.
Results declared Monday placed the Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) as the winner with 51.17 percent of the vote, securing President Joao Lourenco a second term.
But the opposition National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) “does not recognise the results” from the national electoral commission and will file a legal claim “which will have the effect of suspending the declaration of the final results”, the party’s secretary general, Alvaro Chikwamanga Daniel, said in a video statement sent to AFP Tuesday.
During the final phase of counting, the party claims “not to have been informed of the decision” by the electoral commission to ratify the results and not to have received a “copy of the tables of the final results”.
Candidates have 72 hours after the announcement of results to file a claim to the constitutional court contesting the ballot.
Four of the 16 electoral commissioners did not sign off on the final results, expressing doubts about the process.
The MPLA has been the only party to govern the country since it gained independence from Portugal in 1975, but saw its poorest showing in this year’s ballot, down from its victory with 61 percent in 2017.
UNITA made significant gains from the 2017 elections, earning 43.95 percent this round, compared with 26.67 percent in the previous vote.
Less than half of the approximately 14.4 million registered voters took part in the ballot that saw eight parties listed.