The chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Menendez, is the first signatory of a resolution calling on the Angolan authorities to ensure that the August 24 elections are credible.
“After decades of autocratic rule and mismanagement of state resources by one man and one party, Angolans deserve a chance to institutionalize the practice of choosing their own leaders through a free and fair process,” said Senator Bob Menendez. in the presentation of the resolution.
The text is signed by two more Democratic senators, Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy.
“According to Freedom House, Angola ‘is not free’ – with a history of repression of democratic freedoms”, said Senator Cardin, who added: “Our resolution calls on the Government of Angola to break with its history of repression and hold free, fair and peaceful elections”.
Senator Van Hollen, for his part, considers that “Angola has been governed by one party since its independence and the upcoming elections are already marked by attempts to silence and intimidate opposition parties”.
“We urge all parties involved to act in the best interests of the people of Angola and to give all Angolans the opportunity to finally have their voices heard through a free, fair and credible democratic process,” added Van Hollen.
The three senators were elected by the Democratic Party and Bob Menendez represents the state of New Jersey, while Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen were elected by the state of Maryland.
In the text of the resolution, the three Democratic senators emphasize that since 2020, when Angolans express their dissatisfaction with the current situation in Angola, in public protests, “they are arrested and the police violently repress” these initiatives.
The resolution urges the Government of the United States of America “to hold Angolan cadres accountable for any attempts to subvert the electoral process”.
More than 14 million Angolans, including those residing abroad, are eligible to vote on 24 August, in what will be the fifth election in Angola’s history.
Since the 2010 Constitution came into force, presidential elections have not been held, with the President and Vice-President of Angola, the first two names on the list of the most voted party in the national circle, elected indirectly.