Joao Lourenco, 68, who heads MPLA, which has been in power for nearly 5 decades, will serve for second term in office
The ruling People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) party has won Angola’s election after garnering 51.17% of vote, according to results announced Monday by the National Electoral Commission.
Its main competitor, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), received 43.95%.
National Electoral Commission head Manuel Pereira da Silva announced that incumbent President Joao Lourenco, 68, is now the duly elected president. This gives him an opportunity to serve for a second term in office.
Angolans voted last Wednesday in the country’s fifth multi-party elections to choose a president and 220 members of parliament. Eight parties ran in the election, but the competition narrowed to the MPLA and UNITA.
More than 14 million Angolans registered to cast ballots.
The MPLA, which has led the oil-rich southern African country since it gained independence in 1975, got 124 deputies while rival UNITA has 90. Three smaller parties have two deputies each, and the remaining three did not get a seat in parliament.
According to experts, this year’s election results were the closest in the country’s history.
UNITA president Adalberto Costa Junior, 60, is not content with the outcome and wants the vote to be reviewed, citing discrepancies.
Lourenco succeeded Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who died last month at the age of 79 at a clinic in Barcelona following a long illness.
Lourenco’s success comes a day after dos Santos was laid to rest on Aug. 28, which would have been his birthday.