More than 9 million voters are called to the polls for the parliamentary elections on Wednesday (August 23rd). The polling stations must close at 5 pm UT. The party that gets a majority in parliament will win the country’s presidency. The current head of state, José Eduardo dos Santos, in power for 38 years, gives way. The MPLA candidate, his party, should normally succeed him. This is the former Minister of Defense, João Lourenço.
This article is updated regularly, with our special envoy to Luanda
The vote began on Wednesday 23 August at 7 am local time (6 am UT) throughout the country. More than 9 million voters are called to the polls in this country which has some 24 million inhabitants.
Vote in calm in Cimangol
In Cimangol, half-popular neighborhood, a half slum area of Luanda, voting operations are proceeding quietly since Wednesday morning, reports the RFI special envoy to Luanda. It is actually the whole city that has taken on the appearance of a “dead city”: all the shops are closed, there is little traffic.
In front of the polling stations, there are those who come in and say they are very satisfied with the vote. Those who vote for the first time, above all, do their duty as citizens with great enthusiasm.
The Election Commission staff tells them how to use the ballot, how to choose the party for which they want to vote once in the polling booth. The number of polling stations is much higher than in the previous election in 2012, thus avoiding waiting.
If there is no change, it will be very serious.
Voters prevented from voting
On the other hand, as was feared by the opposition parties and civil society activists, there are still many voters who are prevented from voting in front of their offices.
Women, especially, who get upset. ” Why do they send me 10 to 20 km away when I live here? One of them. The men, around, are categorical: given the level of organization of the Electoral Commission, ” this can only be a manipulation of power, ” they say.
In this neighborhood, the inhabitants can not afford to pay a bus ticket to vote so far and, as a result, these voters go home, vexed. This should increase the figure of abstention• Which parties are competing?
The Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), the party-state that has held all the levers of the country for 42 years – longer than the outgoing President José Eduardo dos Santos himself – is a movement for the liberation of A Marxist-Leninist inspiration, converted to savage capitalism.
During the campaign, the MPLA flags were ubiquitous and the posters of other candidates were torn off. The MPLA also has a cell dedicated to these grubbing up in every city of the country.
And on Angola’s two main television channels, it garnered more than 80% of the media attention, according to counts made by young activists.
On the other hand, its historic rival, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (Unita), has already filed an appeal and is still hoping to win. In any case, this is what his leadership and activists are showing.
But at the last meeting of Unita, its leader Isaias Samakuva denounced a fraud and recalled that there was the secret of the vote, calling the voters not to be intimidated by the MPLA machine.
Among the four other parties in competition, a training is a much talk about it: the Casa-Ce. This young coalition of the opposition, created in 2012 shortly before the previous general elections, seems to attract more and more young urban people.
If, as announced, the MPLA wins the majority and thus the presidency, Jose Eduardo dos Santos will still be replaced at the head of the State after 38 years of presidency. But his successors will face new challenges.
They will have to take the lead of the country in a context of economic crisis and unprecedented social unrest and have to deal mainly with the entourage of the former president, owner of most of the country’s major companies and accused of mishandling.