May 21, 2013
Angola's Dos Santos secures big election win
Angola's long-serving President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and his MPLA party scored a landslide win today in an election criticised as one-sided and not credible by opponents and civil society activists, according to provisional results.
The results from yesterday's voting announced by the National Elections Commission showed the governing party with 74 percent of the vote - far ahead of its nearest rivals with votes counted from over 70 percent of polling stations.
Under a new constitution introduced in 2010, the MPLA win means Dos Santos, who turned 70 this week, is elected for a further five-year term on top of the nearly 33 years he has already served as leader of Africa's No. 2 oil producer.
Angola's seaside capital was calm and there were no signs of any celebration or uproar in the streets, which indicated the overwhelming MPLA victory in only the third election since independence from Portugal in 1975 was widely anticipated.
Silver-haired Dos Santos is Africa's second longest serving leader after Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.
The provisional results gave the MPLA's closest challenger, former rebel group UNITA, nearly 18 percent, while the third-placed CASA-CE party was approaching five percent in its first election test after being formed by UNITA dissident Abel Chivukuvuku four months ago.
Chivukuvuku told reporters his party, which along with UNITA had complained repeatedly of serious irregularities in the vote preparations and the electoral process, was analysing the results before deciding whether to accept or reject them.
But another prominent CASA-CE member, candidate for Luanda William Tonet, dismissed the provisional results as "cheating taken to its maximum level".
"This is like a declaration of war by the MPLA ... it indicates to citizens that there can be no alternative through the electoral route," he told Reuters.
Sources at UNITA said party president Isaias Samakuva would challenge the announced results.