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The United States government on Friday congratulated President-elect Joao Lourenco on his election as Angola’s next president.
“We congratulate President-elect Joao Lourenco on his election as Angola’s next president. We look forward to working with him to strengthen the vital relationship between Angola and the United States,” Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said in a statement. “We will continue to collaborate closely with the Angolan government and the Angolan people to promote our shared goals as we work together to advance a more sustainable, secure, inclusive, and prosperous future.”
Blinken added that the United States also commends “the millions of Angolan voters who cast their ballots in this election, and in doing so demonstrated their commitment to strengthening democracy.”
Angola’s ruling party, the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), won the August 24 general election, defeating the country’s main opposition party, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA).
The country’s electoral commission announced the election’s final results, saying that the MPLA won 51.17 percent majority while UNITA received 43.95 percent.
The electoral commission said that only about 6.4 million of the 14 million Angolans who registered to vote did so.
The results meant that President Joao Lourenco had secured a second five-year term in office, and extended the rule of the MPLA, which has been in power since independence from Portugal in 1975.
“We have reached yet another outright majority,” MPLA spokesperson Rui Falcao told journalists at a news conference in the capital city of Luanda, which overwhelmingly voted for UNITA.
UNITA presidential candidate Costa Junior, however, initially rejected the results, telling journalists at his own news conference that there were discrepancies between his party’s tally and the commission’s count, and calling on the international community to review the tally.
In his statement on Friday, Blinken said the United States looks forward to working “in partnership with Angola’s elected leaders to forge a better tomorrow for all Angolans and Americans.”