Angola's Joao Lourenco was set to stay president Thursday as his social gathering maintained its lead within the nation's most hotly contested election in its democratic historical past, with practically all of the votes counted.
Outcomes revealed by the nation's electoral fee gave the Folks's Motion for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) 51.07 % of the vote with greater than 97 % of ballots tallied.
That is considerably decrease than its earlier efficiency the place it garnered 61 %.
The primary opposition group, the Nationwide Union for the Whole Independence of Angola (UNITA), led by Adalberto Costa Junior, stood at 44.05 % – an enormous leap from 26.67 % within the 2017 election.
The chief of the profitable social gathering mechanically ascends to the presidency within the oil-rich former Portuguese colony.
A senior member of the opposition social gathering and former insurgent motion instructed a information convention that the official outcomes didn’t tally with their very own parallel depend.
"We hope there can be common sense, we are not encouraging a rebellion, the process is not over, we must remain calm," stated Anastacio Ruben Sicato.
The ruling social gathering has seen a gradual decline in assist in current peacetime elections. In 2012 it romped to victory with 71.84 % in opposition to UNITA's 18.66 %. In 2008, MPLA gained with 81.64 %.
Its parliamentary share of seats dropped to 124 from 150 within the final election, whereas UNITA's practically doubled to 90 from 51 of the 220 parliamentary seats up for grabs.
'All the time the identical story'
The MPLA has dominated Angola for practically 50 years for the reason that nation gained independence in 1975, earlier than a civil conflict erupted, lasting 27 years and claiming not less than 500,000 lives.
Multi-party elections in Angola had been launched in 1992.
However the MPLA's Jose Eduardo dos Santos, first elected in 1979, remained in workplace till 2017, when Lourenco succeeded him for a primary five-year time period.
The newest election has been overshadowed by a struggling economic system, inflation, poverty and drought, compounded by dos Santos' dying final month in Spain.
"MPLA leads the count," learn state newspaper Jornal de Angola's entrance web page on Thursday.
Residents within the oceanside capital Luanda reacted with combined emotions to the preliminary outcomes.
"I voted for UNITA, and I do not believe in these results," stated Jorge, a 40-year-old mechanic who didn’t give his surname, accusing the electoral fee of being in cahoots with the ruling social gathering.
"The country is not going to change, it's always the same story."
Lourenco, a 68-year-old former common educated within the Soviet Union, is credited with far-reaching reforms since taking energy.
These embody boosting monetary transparency and effectivity, combating sweeping nepotism and corruption, and selling business-friendly insurance policies to lure international traders.
Critics say his anti-graft campaign is one-sided and geared toward settling political scores, concentrating on youngsters and cronies of his predecessor.
Fears of tampering
However his social gathering supporters exude delight within the previously Soviet-backed social gathering.
"I am happy, the MPLA has given young people opportunities, there is more work and transparency," stated 27-year-old shopkeeper Madalena Antonio, commenting on the early outcomes.
"The government did what it could do. Things will get better."
The MPLA has historically wielded management over the electoral course of, and state media and opposition and civic teams have raised fears of voter tampering.
Ends in previous elections, together with 2017, have been contested — a course of that may take a number of weeks.
UNITA's deputy chief Abel Chivukuvuku stated earlier that the social gathering's personal tally confirmed it was forward.
There’s a "clear provisional indication of a winning trend for UNITA in all provinces," he instructed a dwell streamed press convention late Wednesday.
Greater than 14 million folks had been registered to vote.
A crew of observers from the Neighborhood of Portuguese-Talking International locations (CPLP) declared the election to have been organised in "accordance with international requirements" and Angolan legal guidelines.
Angola is Africa's second largest crude producer, however the oil bonanza additionally nurtured corruption and nepotism beneath dos Santos.
Dos Santos will likely be buried on Sunday, which might have been his eightieth birthday.