The leader of UNITA, the largest Angolan opposition party, said today, in Luanda, that it is necessary to normalize the elections, because Angola has experienced, in the last three years, an “environment of state terrorism, completely undemocratic” due to the electoral process.
Adalberto Costa Júnior was speaking at the opening of the 2nd ordinary meeting of the Political Commission of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), taking place in Viana, Luanda province, between today and Saturday.
“We are saying this not to repeat it, to turn the page on coexistence, on dialogue, after all, we are children of the same country, we are Angolans, we want the good of Angola and it makes no sense to stir up feelings when there is an election that after all it is cyclical, it is regular, it will happen many times, and we need to do it differently, but it cannot be just speeches, it has to be practices and facts”, he underlined.
According to Adalberto Costa Júnior, in Angola elections almost paralyze the country, with very long processes and “the last ones were no exception”.
“The elections of last August, practically had a pre-campaign of almost a year and a half, the country lived almost exclusively with a focus on the elections during a substantial part of 2021 and throughout the year of 2022”, he stressed.
The UNITA president defended that it is necessary to “stop proceeding in this way”, because “the damage that the country causes because of this position is immense”.
“We have to normalize the functioning of institutions and our own lives, we have to look at electoral processes as cyclical and normal circumstances and not as something extraordinary, elections will take place at common levels and formats, inside and outside institutions and they are good, because they allow renewal, because it is not good when you spend a long time in the interpretation of functions, you gain vices and lose sensitivity”, he stressed.
According to Adalberto Costa Júnior, the whole of 2021 was formatted around the 2022 elections, and in addition to the covid-19 pandemic, “the games without limits came, in an attempt to maintain power”.
“Practically, the last three years have been years of conflict without limits, without rules, without norms, without democratic parameters, inappropriate for a democratic State based on the rule of law, inappropriate for constitutional values, which are well supported in the Constitution of the Republic and in the laws of the Republic of Angola”, he said.
Despite the situation described, Adalberto Costa Júnior said that the elections went well, as well as the electoral campaign, even with “many incidents”.
“I would even say that there were incidents at all the campaign events, [porém] we knew how to get around them and pass on the message of celebration and hope”, he stressed.
Regarding the general elections of August 24th, the politician said that “they brought a powerful message to everyone, not just to the regime”.
“These elections marked a substantial difference with all the previous ones. I am sure that the Angolans this time sent a message to the political parties, also to us, these elections were not the traditional elections with an emotional historical context, this type of voting is over”, he highlighted.
“The Angolans went to vote according to the program and according to the leaders and political proposals, this time we feel more than before, arguably more, that they voted for those programs that could fulfill their dream and their dignity and they voted massively. There has been emotional historical dislocation in these elections, it is indisputable, ”he added.
The UNITA leader lamented the post-electoral environment “full of threats, of arrests, which affected society somewhat across the board”.
“They didn’t just hit political parties, they also hit civic activists, the citizen. We have the case of a partner of ours who was attacked, his wife’s arms were cut several times by hot knives”, quoted Adalberto Costa Júnior, referring to the case, which took place in September, with the journalist from Rádio Despertar, linked to UNITA, Emanuel “Cláudio In”, criticizing the silence of the authorities.
The general elections in Angola held in August this year were marked by contestations by competing parties, who alleged a lack of transparency in the entire electoral process, which led João Lourenço, leader of the MPLA, to President of the Republic, in a second term.