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Angola Holds Election Talks

Lucas Quilundo, spokesman for the National Electoral Commission, at CIAM, in Luanda. Taken 8.25.2022

Angola's electoral commission went into talks on Sunday to finalize results of last week's disputed poll that handed victory to the MPLA which has ruled the country for nearly a half-a-century.

In a notice to journalists, the commission said its members were to "begin the process of tabulation of the definitive results".

On Saturday night five of the 16 member commission threatened not to sign off the partial results that have given incumbent president Joao Lourenco and his People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) 51.07 percent of the vote.

The main opposition the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) received 44.05 percent.

Speaking on the sidelines of the funeral of the former strongman Jose Eduardo dos Santos in Luanda, UNITA leader Adalberto Costa Junior said he will only accept results that match the outcome of their own tally.

"We have already presented complaints to the electoral commission where we understand that the results do not conform to our count and where we think we have obtained more" parliamentary seats, he told reporters after attending the funeral.

With 97 percent of ballots tallied, the MPLA reached a majority with 124 seats out of 220 while UNITA got 90 -- nearly double their representation in the last national assembly.

The leader of the winning party automatically ascends to the presidency in the oil-rich former Portuguese colony.

A win for the MPLA would give a second term to its leader, incumbent President Joao Lourenco, who was handpicked by his predecessor dos Santos in 2017.