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Angola election body rejects opposition complaints

Luanda, Angola | AFP | Angola’s election commission on Monday rejected accusations of irregularities in last month’s vote which saw the MPLA party, which has ruled since 1975, retain power.

Four defeated opposition parties complained that the August 23 election was conducted incorrectly, with ballot boxes and voter forms allegedly disappearing.

Election commission chief Andre da Silva Neto told reporters that the body “categorically rejected the criticism”, which he said was a deliberate “attempt to discredit the Angolan electoral process”.

“All the electronic tools used in the electoral process were checked,” he said, adding that the conduct of the election was entirely “legal”.

The MPLA of outgoing President Jose Eduardo dos Santos won just over 61 percent of the vote, according to a provisional count.

The commission is due to release official results on Wednesday.

Dos Santos, who ruled since 1979 but is reportedly in poor health, will hand over to MPLA loyalist Joao Lourenco at the presidential inauguration on September 25.

UNITA and other opposition parties said the election “was not conducted… in accordance with the law” and was “unconstitutional and illegal”.

According to preliminary results of the Angola election, UNITA and the Casa-CE party garnered 26 percent and nine percent of the vote respectively.

The MPLA had predicted it would win easily, but the result showed a fall in support from the 2012 election.


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