Angolans are due to go to the polls today to elect a new parliament and president in the second national elections held since the end a decade ago of a 27-year civil war in Africa’s second biggest oil producer.
Angolan president José Eduardo dos Santos, who has ruled the southern African country for nearly 33 years under the MPLA is expected to win the election.
But opposition parties like CASA-CE and the former rebel group UNITA have complained of alleged irregularities in the electoral process, saying the CNE has failed to issue requested credentials for thousands of their representatives to be able to observe voting and the counting of ballots in 10,000 polling stations across the country. The country’s electoral laws allow for such observation by party representatives at polling stations.
At the eve of the elections several opposition members were arrested and fear has gripped the election .
Angolan police arrested several members of an opposition party yesterday on the eve of national elections after they tried to enter the electoral commission building to demand credentials to observe the vote at polling stations, a party official and police said.
William Tonet, a candidate for the opposition CASA-CE party, told Reuters that police guarding the national electoral commission (CNE) in Luanda fired shots to keep back dozens of young CASA-CE militants who approached the building.