MPLA Leads in Angolan elections, but loses supermajority in National Assembly; UNITA questions preliminary results

ROUGH DRAFT – Check back for revisions and updates

Dispatches

Pierre Lepidi(Luanda), “En Angola, le président Joao Lourenço s’oriente vers une victoire serrée; Après un dépouillement quasi complet, le MPLA, à la tête du pays depuis 1975, l’emporte mais connaît un fort recul face à l’Unita, principal parti d’opposition, qui conteste les résultats,” Le Monde, le 26 août 2022 )15h35, mis à jour à 03h;

Analysis

Lepidi reports the following election results;

Revised Google translation

According to the figures returned by the National Electoral Commission (CNE) after counting 97.04% of the ballots, the Party-State (MPLA) is in the lead of the votes with 51.07% of the votes ahead of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (Unita) with 44.05%, the main opposition movement and lifelong rival. The cumulative score of the other six teams is around 5%.

Original French

Selon les chiffres rendus par la Commission nationale électorale (CNE) après dépouillement de 97,04 % des bulletins, le Parti-Etat est en tête des suffrages avec 51,07 % des suffrages devant l’Union nationale pour l’indépendance totale de l’Angola (Unita) avec 44,05 %, principal mouvement d’opposition et rival de toujours. Le score cumulé des six autres formations avoisine les 5 %.

Up until now, the MPLA has ruled with a two-thirds majority in congress, which meant it never had to compromise with UNITA or other parties. Now it will, ushering in a new era of constitutional government in Angola.

he 2010 Constitution, drafted by sophisticated constitutional scholars with doctorates from Portugal’s prestigious University of Coimbra Law Faculty, will now be put to the test. The Constitution is a surprisingly liberal document, replacing the 1992 constitution adopted after  a civil war between 1975 and 1992 between the MPLA and UNITA which cost some 500,000 lives.

The MPLA was backed by Cuba (including troops) and the Soviet Union, while the UNITA movement of Jonas Savimbi was backed by the United States and the CIA.

independence was not achieved until 1974, late for Africa, after a long and bloody colonial war and the death of the Portuguese divtator, Salazar.

The civil war ended in 1992. A constitution adopted in 1992, was replaced by a modern constitution in 2010 which provides for multi-party rule through the legislature assembly.

In the future, with the MPLA’s loss of its two-thirds majority in the legislative assembly, the 2022 elections could be viewed as the birthdate of a real democracy in Angola.

Much will depend on the MPLA’s ability to work within the constitution and the society’s ability to give life to the democratic forms established in it.

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