News / Africa

Angola's Polls Close Amid Claims of Irregularities

A man casts his ballot at a voting station in Kicolo, Luanda, Angola, August 31, 2012.
A man casts his ballot at a voting station in Kicolo, Luanda, Angola, August 31, 2012.
Polls have closed in Angola in parliamentary elections that are expected to return the ruling party and President Jose Eduardo dos Santos to power.The main opposition party plans to challenge the results.  

Friday was made a national holiday in Angola to allow 9.7 million registered voters, half of the country's population, to vote in only the third elections since Angola gained independence from Portugal in 1975.

Several irregularities were reported during voting hours.   Some poll stations opened with more than one hour delay, and some voters were not sure of the place they were supposed to be casting ballots.

The main opposition party, UNITA, led by Isaias Samakuva, used these incidents to fuel its claims of fraud.

As he was voting Friday, the opposition leader repeated what he said Thursday in an interview with VOA -  that the party will seek to have election invalidated.

Samakuva said his party supporters will vote, but will ask to have the results nullified.

UNITA also said its observers were not allowed to access polling stations in the capital, Luanda.

Angolan journalist and human rights activist Rafael Marques went to visit the poll stations.  He says the atmosphere was different from the last elections, in 2008, when the country was coming out of 27 years civil war.

"Regardless of how the process was handled in 2008, people showed up to the polls in large numbers. Because they wanted to contribute to peace, they wanted to contribute to democracy," Marques said.

Marques said that this time, he saw few people going to the polls, and he sees it as a political stance, to protest against alleged fraud, and against what many see as a certain victory for Dos Santos' party, the MPLA, which has ruled Angola for 33 years.

"If they are not allowed to voice their concern through the ballot, then they will do it with their silence, and that is what many people are doing.  And the silence and not turning up to the polls is clearly a rejection of President Dos Santos' policies," Marques said.

Under dos Santos, Angola has become Africa's second-largest oil producer, but the oil wealth has failed to reach a large proportion of Angolans, many of whom live in impoverished slums.

The preliminary election results are expected to be announced Saturday, and the final results should be released next week.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid