Angola: Elections2022 - Unita Presents Candidacy Tuesday

Luanda — Angola's main opposition party, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), is to present onTuesday its candidacy to run for the general elections to take place on August 24, the Constitutional Court (TC) said Monday in a press release.

The candidacy files for the 2022 ballot must be submitted to the Constitutional Court from June 6 to 25, according to the electoral law.

So far, three political groups have delivered their proposals, namely the ruling MPLA, which holds 150 seats in the National Assembly (parliament), the electoral coalition CASA-CE, second largest political force in the opposition with 16 deputies and the National Patriotic Alliance (APN), a party with no parliamentary seats that Monday formalized the candidacy.

UNITA currently holds 51 seats from the total of 220 Parliament seats.

It was founded in 1966 by Jonas Savimbi and António da Costa Fernandes as a liberation movement, before becoming an armed rebellion after national independence in 1975.

With the signing of the Bicesse Peace Accords on May 31, 1991, which put an end to the one-party system then in effect in the country, UNITA was transformed into a political party.

Under the leadership of Jonas Savimbi it participated in the first general elections in Angola's history held in September 1992 earning the status of Angola's second largest political force with 70 deputies or 34.1 percent of the votes.

In the presidential elections held simultaneously with the legislative elections, its leader Jonas Savimbi won 40 percent of the votes against 49.57 the then MPLA leader José Eduardo dos Santos got.

The results required a second round of presidential voting, since neither of the two candidates achieved an absolute majority.

The second round was eventually made impossible by the armed conflict that triggered off, following Jonas Savimbi's rejection of the presidential results claiming electoral fraud.

The resumed armed conflict interrupted the regularity of the electoral process until 2008, when the second general elections were held after the end of the war with the death in combat of the UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi on February 22, 2002.

In the following elections, UNITA led by Isaías Samakuva obtained 16 parliament seats (2008), 32 in 2012 and 51 in 2017.

The party is currently led by Adalberto Costa Júnior, former leader of the Parliamentary Bench (whip), who is running for the Presidency of Angola.

Current electoral system

From the total of 220 seats in the National Assembly (Parliament), 130 are elected for the "national constituency" and 90 for the provincial constituencies at a ratio of five seats for each of the country's 18 provinces.

Each of the country's 18 provinces represents one constituency plus the national constituency making a total of 19 constituencies.

Candidates run for all constituencies.

The first and second names on each competing list correspond respectively to the candidates for President and Vice-President of the Republic, thus the top two candidates of the political formation with the most votes in the general elections are elected to these positions.

The indirect election of the President of the Republic results from the new Constitution of the Republic approved in 2010, which received its first "amendment" (constitutional revision) last year, in an initiative of the Angolan Head of State, to allow voting abroad (Angolan diaspora).

Angola holds this year its fifth general election since the end of the one-party system in 1991, after those of 1992, 2008, 2012, and 2017.

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