The President of the Republic, João Lourenço, recommended to the National Assembly the prohibition of inaugurations of projects and public works and offers that could constitute vote buying in the middle of an electoral campaign.
The recommendation is expressed in a letter addressed this Monday to the National Assembly, under the terms of the request for reconsideration of the Draft Amendment to the Organic Law on General Elections.
In the letter, read by the Minister of State and Chief of Staff of the President of the Republic, Adão de Almeida, the Incumbent of Executive Power considers that allowing offers to be made to voters during the electoral campaign is to accept the possibility of subversion of electoral truth.
He says it is recommendable to extend the fight against electoral corruption to other practices that directly or indirectly do not contribute to the moralization of society, in addition to introducing some lack of electoral truth to political competition.
It observes that electoral truth, transparency, equality between candidacies and the moralization of society recommend the express prohibition of certain conducts during the period of the electoral campaign, that is, the 30 days prior to voting day, namely the performance of acts of inauguration of undertakings or public works and donations or offers likely to represent a kind of vote purchase.
The Head of State recalls that article 193, electoral corruption, typifies some conduct as electoral illicit, such as the persuasion of someone to vote or not vote for certain candidates, the offer or promise of public or private employment or any patrimonial advantage to voters .
“I am convinced that we will reach greater levels of equality and electoral truth if, during the electoral campaign, competitors are removed from the possibility of inaugurating public works (…), except of course those that can be considered inherent to campaigns, as per example the offer of electoral propaganda material”, he says.
It emphasizes that the holding of elections is one of the main instruments for implementing the democratic principle, noting that the State bodies are responsible for ensuring a competitive model capable of guaranteeing equal treatment opportunities between the different candidates and fairness and transference in the electoral process.
According to the Executive Power, the amendment to the Organic Law on General Elections represents an exercise in defining political-legislative options for the National Assembly, within the framework of its constitutional powers.
He notes that, with this change, “constitutional conformity was not only guaranteed, taking into account the Constitutional Revision, but also several other matters were adjusted in the sense of strengthening mechanisms for organizing and carrying out electoral processes, ensuring electoral transparency and truth”.
For this reason, he considers it opportune to request the National Assembly to reconsider some solutions established by action or by omission, “to ensure, also in the electoral field, a clear message aimed at moralizing society”.
The President of the Republic finds it pertinent to share these reflections with Parliament, requesting that, pursuant to article 124 of the Constitution, a reconsideration of the aforementioned matters be carried out, “in order to fill a gap in terms of inaugurations and offers during the campaign period election, within the framework of the law that amends Law number 36/11, of 21 December”.
It recalls that the Constitution defines, in its 2nd article, the Republic of Angola as a democratic State under the rule of law whose foundation, among others, is popular sovereignty and representative and participatory democracy.
The Angolan statesman congratulates the deputies of all political forces for the “hard” work carried out, noting with appreciation their availability for the “frank and open” debate and the effort made to seek the broadest possible consensus.
The National Assembly recently approved the Law of Amendment to the Organic Law on General Elections and sent it to the President of the Republic for its promulgation.