Angolan Court Dismisses Opposition Election Petition

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Supporters of opposition party. (Photo by JOHN WESSELS / AFP)

Angola’s Constitutional Court rejected a request by the runner-up in last month’s election to consider the final vote count invalid, paving the way for Joao Lourenco to be sworn-in for a second term as president of Africa’s second-biggest oil producer.

The court dismissed a petition in a statement late on Monday by the National Union for the Total Liberation of Angola, known as Unita, which alleged that polling-station records in the main opposition party’s possession didn’t match those approved by the National Electoral Commission.

The court’s decision can’t be appealed, meaning the 51% win by the ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola is final.

Lourenco is expected to be sworn in this month.

Angola’s main opposition party got 44% of the votes, according to the electoral commission. 

“No one should rob us the victory,” Unita leader Adalberto Costa Junior told reporters after the court’s decision was announced. He said Unita’s records indicated that it received 49.5% of votes, while the MPLA got 48.2%.

Unita reserves the right to appeal to international courts once all legal challenges in Angola have been exhausted, said Costa Junior. He didn’t provide details.

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