Angola’s biggest opposition party said on Tuesday that it had filed legal objections challenging the electoral commission’s decision that the ruling party had won last week’s poll, but the electoral body stated it had not received any such complaints.

What’s happening
The opposition party, the National Union for Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), said in a statement on Tuesday that the objections would have the effect of postponing the official declaration of election results.

The Commission’s spokesperson, Lucas Quilundo, initially told reporters that none of the complaints it had received were about the final election results, but then claimed he had rejected two UNITA objections about the electoral process and outcomes.

Following the most closely fought election since the country’s independence from Portugal in 1975, the commission declared the ruling People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) the winner, extending its nearly five decades of uninterrupted rule and giving President Joao Lourenco a second term.

The ex-Marxist MPLA received support from slightly more than 51% of voters. According to the commission, UNITA, its longtime adversary and former civil war foe, received approximately 44% of the vote, its best performance ever.

Diggin Deeper
Four of the 16 electoral commissioners did not sign off on the final results, calling the process into question. The MPLA has been the only party to rule the country since its independence from Portugal in 1975, but it received its lowest vote share in this year’s election, down from 61 percent in 2017.

However, turnout was less than half of the 14.4 million registered voters this year.

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