As a third of the vote results are released, Angola’s ruling party, the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola, or MPLA, has taken a commanding lead over its main political challenger, the National Union for the Liberation of Angola, UNITA.
The provisional presidential results show the ruling party garnered 60% of the vote, with 33% of the vote counted.
The candidate of the ruling People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola party, known by its Portuguese acronym MPLA, incumbent President Joao Lourenco, 68, who is seeking a second five-year term, is ahead of the main opposition party candidate, Adalberto Costa Jr., 60, of the National Union for the Liberation of Angola, or UNITA. The opposition party received 33% of the vote.
At a news conference, UNITA vice presidential candidate Abel Chivukuvuku dismissed the earlier result, showing it was losing the Wednesday election.
He said UNITA would publish its own results, collected from the polling stations across the country.
Experts say this is a close election, as the opposition’s popularity among young people has grown in the past years, as millions are frustrated due to unemployment and lack of equal opportunities.
This is Angola’s fifth general election since independence from Portugal in 1975 and the ruling MPLA has been in power for nearly five decades.
The electoral commission has seven days to announce the winner of Wednesday’s vote.