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

Beijing Warns Hong Kong Protesters, Cracks Down at Home

In suppressing protest news, China reportedly has arrested more than 20 people on the mainland who acted in support of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters More

Competing Goals Could Frustrate Efforts to Fight Islamic State

As alliances shift and countries re-define themselves, analysts say long-standing goals of some key players in Middle East may soon compete with Western goals More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid