Angola’s Opposition Planning Protest Over Election
(Corrects date of protest in first paragraph)
Unita, a former rebel movement, and Casa-Ce, a party started this year by a former Unita leader, have objected to aspects of the ballot in Luanda, the capital. Angola’s electoral commission is expected to meet tomorrow and may issue a ruling on the complaints.
“On Saturday, we’re going to the electoral commission building,” Lindo Tito, a spokesman for Casa-Ce leader Abel Chuvukuvuku, said by telephone from Luanda. “It’s about the campaign.”
The election for parliament will be the nation’s second since the end of a 27-year civil war in 2002 and the first in two decades that could produce a new president. The biggest party in parliament chooses the president of the former Marxist state that pumps 1.8 million barrels of a crude a day.
Unita has asked the commission to revise how and where votes are counted. They have also complained about how some voters weren’t registered in areas of the country that have traditionally favored the opposition, while registrants in some ruling-party strongholds exceeded the usual population. They have criticized the electoral commission for meeting at night without opposition party delegates.
With more than 6 million registered members, President Jose Eduardo dos Santos’s ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola, or MPLA, captured 82 percent of the votes in a 2008 ballot. Dos Santos is Africa’s longest-serving ruler after Equatorial Guinea’s president, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. Both came to power in 1979.
Demonstrations in Luanda and some other cities in the past year against the dos Santos administration have resulted in arrests and beatings by security forces.
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