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Ruling Parties Hard to Remove – Kudumo

As Angola’s MPLA is Set To Remain In Power

Hilma Tuukondjele

Ruling parties in Southern Africa are dominant political parties because they are in power and have access to state resources thus, they always end up being elected as ruling parties even if people complain about them being economically corrupted.

These were the views of international relations expert Marius Kudumo as Angola’s ruling party MPLA is set to be declared victorious in that country’s recently concluded presidential elections.

“They are dominant political parties because they are in power, but we must also understand that many people in southern Africa are from rural areas and they are not dependent on the state, they depend on their fields and so on and a dominant party for them is still a party that they know, but it’s not sustainable in the long run,” he said.

He said he had not seen the selections, but there are indications that the results in Luanda might not be the same as in rural areas.

“Meaning it’s not sustainable because the purpose of an election is for people to express their choices and hope their living conditions improve as well as restoring their dignity,” he explained.

He said removing the ruling party from its seat can happen, but the citizens need to understand what their rights and responsibilities in the democracy are. He argued that most of them understand do not that.

“If that is not happening, then we can not be celebrating because it is not sustainable. All it tells is that this issue of free choices is not fully established in many southern African countries.”

He argued that Zambia has demonstrated that it can remove a ruling party from its seat. In Ghana and other places, the governing party has lost results, meaning it is not impossible, “but it’s the extent where citizens understand what democracy is all about. It is about free choices, and improving their conditions and elections are the means. If people understand that, then they will see differences,” he said.

On Friday, Angola’s Joao Lourenco was set to remain President as his party maintained its lead in the country’s most hotly contested election in its democratic history, with nearly all the votes counted.

Lourenco took over from Angola’s longest serving President, José Eduardo dos Santos.

The country’s electoral commission published results gave the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) 51.07 per cent of the vote, with more than 97 per cent of ballots tallied.

This is significantly lower than its previous performance, which garnered 61 per cent.

The leading opposition group, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), led by Adalberto Costa Junior, stood at 44.05 per cent – a huge jump from 26.67 per cent in the 2017 election.

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

Julia Heita

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