Angolan legislative election, 2012

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Angolan legislative election, 2012
Angola
2008 ←
31 August 2012 → 2019

All 220 seats in the National Assembly
111 seats needed for a majority
Turnout 62.77%
  Majority party Minority party Third party
  José Eduardo dos Santos 2.jpg No image.png No image.png
Leader José Eduardo dos Santos Isaías Samakuva Abel Chivukuvuku
Party MPLA UNITA CASA–CE
Last election 191 seats, 81.54% 16 seats, 10.39% New
Seats won 175 32 8
Seat change Decrease 16 Increase 16 New
Popular vote 4,135,503 1,074,565 345,589
Percentage 71.84% 18.66% 6.00%
Swing Decrease 9.70% Increase 8.27% New

President before election

José Eduardo dos Santos
MPLA

President-designate

José Eduardo dos Santos
MPLA

Legislative elections were held in Angola on 31 August 2012.[1] During campaigning, the opposition UNITA and its offshoot CASA-CE accused and criticised the government of corruption and called for greater transparency; this also led to protests and arrests the day before the election.

Background[edit]

While UNITA accepted the result of the National Assembly elections in 1992, it rejected that of the presidential elections, alleging fraud. The party then resumed the civil war, though its MPs still took their seats in the National Assembly. As a result, the second round of the presidential elections were not held, nor were the legislative elections due at regular intervals in accordance with the 1992 constitution. The civil war came to an end in 2002, following the death of UNITA's leader Jonas Savimbi in an ambush. The MPLA still refused to hold the second round of the presidential election, but organised legislative elections in 2008. The MPLA's resultant majority allowed it to adopt a new constitution in 2010, abolishing the direct election of the president. The constitution stipulated that legislative elections would be held at intervals of four years and that the leader of the party that received the most votes would become president. The expectation of all parties was that this would lead to the endurance of the dominant party system.[2]

Electoral system[edit]

At the time of the election, the National Assembly had 220 seats, of which 130 were elected from closed lists by proportional representation and the remaining 90 elected in 18 five-seat constituencies.[3] Following the election, the leader of the largest party will become president.[1] Voters had to be at least 18 years old and not have an undischarged bankruptcy or criminal conviction. Candidates had to be at least 35 years-old.[3]

Over 10,000 voting centres were opened from 7:00-18:00, while the day was declared a national holiday.

Parties and campaign[edit]

A total of nine parties and coalitions contested the elections, four of which are parties (the MPLA, UNITA, the National Liberation Front of Angola (FNLA) and the Social Renewal Party;[4] and five of which are coalitions (the United Front for Change of Angola (FUMA), the New Democracy Electoral Union, the People's Party for Development (PAPOD), the Broad Convergence for the Salvation of Angola-Electoral Coalition (CASA-CE) and the Political Opposition Council (CPO)).[5] CASA-CE is a breakaway from UNITA that was formed after its leader Abel Chivukuvuku lost the UNITA leadership election to Samakuva,[6] and has sought to mobilise voters from inside and outside UNITA against the MPLA.[7]

On 13 June, the MPLA Central Committee designated incumbent President José Eduardo dos Santos as head of the MPLA party list and Manuel Vicente, the Minister of State for Economic Coordination, as the second candidate on the list. Under the constitution, this would result in dos Santos receiving another term as president, with Vicente becoming vice-president.[8]

UNITA criticised the government for corruption and, amongst other reasons, giving the contract to run the election to the Spanish company, Indra-Sistemas SA, who ran the 2008 election too, and are accused of helping the MPLA win that election.[9] The media were also reported to have been biased in their coverage in favour of the incumbent MPLA. However, UNITA were also expected to gain a larger share of the vote and cut the MPLA's popular vote from the previous election.[10] Other issues centred on greater transparency and a more democratic government.[11] CASA-CE sought to mobilise voters from inside and outside UNITA against the MPLA.[7]

Arrests and controversy[edit]

The day before the election, as members of CASA-CE sought to enter the office of the National Electoral Commission (CNE) in order observation rights, police arrested about a dozen party members. Party candidate William Tonet told Reuters that police outside the building that they had fired shots to keep away young party members. However, this was unconfirmed by an unnamed police officer at the Quarta Esquadra police station nearby, though the arrests were affirmed. Tonet added that no injuries occurred.[7] He mentioned that of the 6,850 requestioned accreditions, only 3,000 had been given. However, the CNE had said it approved 97,000 local observers from the nine parties and coalitions that were contesting the election. Luis Ngimbi, the head of a local team of observers, said of the campaign that while no major incidents were reported, the campaign has been disappointing" because of the lack of details of promises.

Samakuva also expressed concern prior to the election about possible irregularities, mainly in regards to the voter roll. He said: "Many Angolans' names don't appear on the voter roll, and in many places the voter roll has not been released. We have come to the conclusion that the National Electoral Commission is not ready. The conditions don't exist to ensure the minimum of an organised, transparent process." He also sought to meet Dos Santos to express the concerns and ask for monitoring accreditation for 2,000 of its party workers.[11]

Conduct[edit]

National police commander General Ambrósio de Lemos said he was ready to ensure that electoral laws were enforced: "We will not tolerate nor allow these elections to be derailed. Citizens must be able to access the polling stations, in accordance with their civil rights, without any problems."[11]

After Dos Santos, who voted at a school near his official residence, said: "I am satisfied because the process is going smoothly throughout the country. I urge all Angolans to vote, to vote for democracy, which is important," he said. "Today people have power in their hands, and it's a great responsibility." This was the first direct vote on his presidency.[12]

The African Union claimed that the elections had been "free, fair, transparent and credible", but noted that opposition parties had not been given equal access to the media.[13] UNITA announced that they would appeal the results of the election, claiming that the results announced by the National Election Commission did not match their counts at polling stations.[14] CASA-CE took the same position.[15]

Results[edit]

Party Votes % Seats +/–
MPLA 4,135,503 71.84 175 –16
UNITA 1,074,565 18.66 32 +16
CASA–CE 345,589 6.00 8 New
Social Renewal Party 98,233 1.70 3 –5
National Liberation Front of Angola 65,163 1.13 2 –1
New Democracy Electoral Union 13,337 0.23 0 –2
People's Party for Development 8,710 0.15 0
United Front for Change of Angola 8,260 0.14 0
Political Opposition Council 6,644 0.11 0
Invalid/blank votes 368,665
Total 6,124,669 100 220 0
Registered voters/turnout 9,757,671 62.77
Source: National Election Commission

As expected, results vary greatly from one region to another. In Luanda Province and Cabinda Province, UNITA and CASA–CE together received about 40% of the vote, compared to 25% nationally.

Another feature is the high abstention rate, of 37.2%, compared to 12.5% in the 1992 elections.

Aftermath[edit]

Dos Santos was sworn in for a five-year term as President, with Vicente as Vice-President, on 26 September 2012.[16] A day later, on 27 September 2012, Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos was elected as President of the National Assembly.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Angolan anti-government rappers attacked". BBC News. 23 May 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-26. 
  2. ^ "2012 • Transformationsindex". Bti-project.org. Retrieved 2012-08-31. 
  3. ^ a b "ANGOLA (Assembleia nacional): Electoral system". Inter-Parliamentary Union. Retrieved 2012-08-31. 
  4. ^ "Angola approves 9 parties for elections". Portal To Africa. Retrieved 2012-08-31. 
  5. ^ "Angola: Political Parties Told to Produce Realistic Governing Proposals". allAfrica.com. 2012-08-08. Retrieved 2012-08-31. 
  6. ^ "IFES Election Guide - Election Profile for Angola". Electionguide.org. Retrieved 2012-08-20. 
  7. ^ a b c "Opposition frets as Angolans head to polls". Al Jazeera English. 2011-10-04. Retrieved 2012-08-31. 
  8. ^ "President Eduardo dos Santos leads party's list". Angola Press Agency. 2012-06-13. Retrieved 2012-08-20. 
  9. ^ "Angola’s poll ‘cooked from the start’". IOL.co.za. 2012-08-12. Retrieved 2012-08-20. 
  10. ^ Barnaby Phillips. "Angola's brush with hope and despair - Features". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 2012-08-31. 
  11. ^ a b c "Opposition frets as Angolans head to polls". Al Jazeera English. 2011-10-04. Retrieved 2012-08-31. 
  12. ^ http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2012/08/2012830194249415936.html
  13. ^ Angola election judged 'free and fair' by African Union BBC News, 2 September 2012
  14. ^ Angola's Unita party to appeal Dos Santos election win AGI, 2 September 2012
  15. ^ UNITA garante ter provas de fraude nas eleições em Angola, Público, 2 September 2012
  16. ^ Shrikesh Laxmidas, "Angola's Dos Santos sworn in, pledging social improvements", Reuters, 26 September 2012.
  17. ^ "Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos elected Speaker of National Assembly", Angola Press Agency, 27 September 2012.