Angola’s largest opposition party, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, said it would contest last week’s election results, giving the long-ruling People’s Liberation Movement of Angola a majority.
The elections, held on August 24, were the most contentious the oil-rich country has seen since the first multi-party vote in 1992.
The results announced Monday placed the MPLA as the winner with 51.17 percent of the vote, giving President Joao Lourenco a second term.
But the opposition UNITA “does not recognize the results” of the National Electoral Commission and will file a legal claim “which will have the effect of suspending the declaration of the final results,” party secretary-general Alvaro Chikomenanga Daniel said. in a video statement sent to AFP, Tuesday.
During the final phase of the count, the party said it was “not aware of the decision” by the Election Commission to ratify the results and did not receive a “copy of the final results tables”.
Candidates have 72 hours from the results announcement to file a claim with the constitutional court to challenge the vote.
Four of the 16 election commissioners did not approve the final results and expressed doubts about the process.
The MPLA has been the only party to rule the country since it gained independence from Portugal in 1975, but was worst in this year’s vote, compared to its 61 percent victory in 2017.
UNITA made significant gains in the 2017 election, taking 43.95 percent this round, compared to 26.67 percent in the previous vote.
Less than half of the approximately 14.4 million registered voters took part in the eight-party ballot.