SADC Parliamentary Forum deploys election observers to ANGOLA

The SADC Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF), the regional organization of the national Parliaments of SADC Member States announces the deployment of its 16-member Election Observation Mission, from 17th to 27th August 2022, to observe the 2022 General Elections in the Republic of Angola.

This is the 52nd such Mission to be deployed to a SADC Member State since 1999 when SADC PF Forum started observing elections. In the case of Angola, this is the second time that SADC PF is observing the country’s elections, having previously observed the 2012 elections.

The Mission is led by the Speaker of the Parliament of Zimbabwe, Honourable Advocate Jacob Francis Nzwidamilimo Mudenda. The Mission comprises Members of Parliament drawn from 6 of the 15 National Parliaments of SADC PF, namely Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and is supported by officials from the SADC PF Secretariat and National Parliaments.

The Mission has been in the country from 16th August and will stay up to the 27th August 2022, during which time it will have engaged with the CNE, political parties, civil society, other electoral stakeholders and the electorate. The Mission has since deployed teams to Luanda, Uige and Zaire provinces.

At the end of the counting of ballots at polling stations, the Mission will re-convene in Luanda to consolidate its findings, recommendations and conclusions on the entire electoral process. The Mission’s findings will be made public on Friday 26th August 2022 during a press conference at Epic Sana Hotel.

The observation process will be guided by the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections (2015), SADC Model Law on Elections (2018), African Charter for Democracy, Elections and Governance (2007), SADC Protocol on Gender and Development (2008), and the Country’s Laws as well as other regional and international election instruments.

The Mission looks forward towards the cooperation of all relevant stakeholders.

Angolans are voting today in what is expected to be the most competitive election in its democratic history, with incumbent President Joao Lourenco squaring up against charismatic opposition leader Adalberto Costa Junior.

Eight political parties are participating, but the real contest lies between the ruling People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) party and its long-standing rival and ex-rebel movement the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA).

Although UNITA, which has entered an electoral pact with two other parties is expected to make gains, this may not be enough to unseat the incumbent president who is expected to secure a second five-year mandate.

More than 14 million people are registered to vote at the 13 200 polling stations across the vast Southern African nation.

Angolans in the diaspora are for the first time able to cast ballots from abroad.

Results are expected within a few days, although in past elections, results have been contested in a process that can take several weeks.