Angola opposition slams Portuguese president for ‘declaring’ Lourenco president-elect

Angola’s main opposition party, UNITA, has slammed Portuguese president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa for congratulating Joao Lourenco for winning the August 23 elections.

UNITA described de Sousa’s action as premature and said they received the news of his position with ‘amazement and disappointment.’

The party which placed second in the vote with about 26% of votes have challenged the results. “Where did those results come from?” its leader Samakuva asked supporters at the party’s campaign headquarters in Luanda.

“The CNE (commission) must explain to Angolans what it did wrong and why it did it,” Samakuva added. He has been leader of the party since 2003.

Lourenco, a former Defense Minister was candidate for the ruling MPLA in the elections. The electoral body, CNE, declared him winner of the polls with over 60% of votes at a time when three provinces had yet to vote.

He is set to replace long serving leader, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who steps down after 38 years in charge of the oil rich former Portuguese colony.

Angola, the main Portuguese colony in Africa still maintains close ties in the area of diplomacy and economy. Outgoing president dos Santos’ daughter Isabel has lots of business interest in Portugal.