Wishing Angola free, fair and peaceful elections
By Hidipo Hamata
Spokesperson of the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM).
Millions of Angolans headed to the polls on Wednesday, 24 August to vote in the country’s fifth multi-party elections between the ruling party, People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), led by President João Lourenço and the main opposition party, National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), led by Adalberto Costa Junior.
The elections promise to be a watershed moment in Angola’s electoral history.
Angola has maintained political stability since the end of the 27-year civil war in 2002. In 2010, a constitution established a presidential-parliamentary system with the president no longer elected by direct popular vote but instead as the head of the party winning the most seats.
A country cannot be a democracy without holding genuine elections. They are the basis for democratic legitimacy. Elections give citizens a means to hold their leaders accountable by voting incumbents out of office or promising to hold to account those leaders successfully elected. They are a mechanism to peacefully resolve the transfer of political power.
Elections are also central to making democracy deliver a better quality of life by linking voters’ interests to those in government and allowing citizens to elect representatives who reflect their will. Genuine elections contribute to longer-term development goals, laying the foundation for responsive governance.
In addition, a country cannot be truly democratic until its citizens have the opportunity to choose their representatives through elections that are free and fair. Critical development efforts cannot succeed without a legitimate and democratically elected government that is responsive and accountable to its
citizens. This election will provide an important opportunity to advance democratization and encourage political liberalization.
This will help to promote peaceful, democratic political transformation that will lead to increased stability and prosperity.
We, therefore, wish the Republic of Angola, free, fair, and peaceful elections and look forward to the outcomes of these very important elections.