Angola Peace Monitor by hcj


									 Angola Peace Monitor                                                    Issue no.10, Vol.XIV
                                                                         August 2008
 Published by ACTSA

14 parties, coalitions to contest                  the legitimate heir to the party as the other
elections                                          “leader” Carlos Leitão was expelled from the
                                                   party at a national conference in November
The electoral process in Angola is in full swing   last year.
following a massive effort by the newly set up
Constitutional   Court     to    analyse     the   In total, 5,198 candidates were approved, all
applications of all 77 political parties and       of which can be viewed on the Court’s web
coalitions who wanted to stand in September’s      site
elections. On 5 September all 220
parliamentary seats will be up for election.       Most of the rejected parties found it
                                                   impossible to collect the required number of
Over a two week period, from 7 July, the           valid signatures. For example, the Angolan
Constitutional Court went through the              Communist      Community     Party,     PCCA,
applications to verify that each party had the     submitted 4,573 signatures, of which 1,846
signatures of 15,000 citizens, that each           were found to be valid. The Court also found
candidate met the legal requirements, and          some of the documents presented, such as
that only one group would run under a party        the criminal registration certificates needed
banner. The magnitude of this work was             from the candidates, were counterfeit.
enormous considering that the judges sitting
in the Court were only appointed on 24 June.       Similarly the UTPA coalition failed to provide
                                                   enough legitimate signatures, with most of
On 28 July the Constitutional Court                those submitted lacking the necessary voter
announced that it had rejected 63 parties and      registration number to confirm identity.
2,173 candidates. Only ten political parties
and four coalitions will stand: AD-Coligacao,      Those parties that had their application
FNLA,    FOFAC,      FPD,      MPLA,    Nova       rejected were unable to deal with their
Democracia, PADEPA, PAJOCA, PDP-ANA,               mistakes and omissions in the ten days set
PLD, PPE, PRD, PRS, and UNITA.                     aside for corrections.

One of the major decisions was to exclude the      Funding for parties
faction of the historic liberation FNLA led by
Lucas Ngonda. This faction has been in             Parties meeting the legal requirements to
conflict with Ngola Kabangu’s faction since the    stand in the elections will now receive funding
death of FNLA founder Holden Roberto. The          for the campaign.
Constitutional Court found that Kabangu had
been legally elected as leader of the party and    Meeting on 11 July the Angolan Cabinet
thus rejected the attempt by Ngonda’s faction      approved a budget of 1.2 billion kwanzas
to stand in the elections as FNLA.                 (over $16 million) to be distributed among the
                                                   participating parties.
In a similar case, the faction of the Social
Renewal Party, PRS, led by Antonio                 The National Electoral Commission, CNE, will
Muachicungo was rejected on the grounds            distribute the funds and will also be
that he was expelled from the PRS over a           responsible for checking that the funds are
decade ago. As a result of this decision the       used properly.
coalition ADA, composed of the PRS
(Muachicungo) and the PDPS, was also found         The CNE met on 18 July to fix the criteria for
to be illegitimate.                                the use of the funds. During that meeting the
                                                   CNE also analysed the government proposal
For the party PADEPA, the Constitutional           for the location and number of ballot boxes.
Court found that Silva Cardoso’s faction was
Parties allocated places on ballot                     media pluralism in the run-up to legislative
                                                       elections will obstruct the necessary
On 29 July the CNE held an event at which              democratic debate", and claimed that “the
the political parties were randomly allotted           measure is illegal as it has been taken under
their place on the ballot paper. Using a               decree-law 69/97, which was voided by a new
machine similar to those used in the game              press law in 2006."
bingo, or various local and national lotteries,
parties were chosen for each of the fourteen           The director of Radio Despertar, Alexandre
places on the ballot paper.                            Solombe, told RSF that his station is the
                                                       victim of "an electoral manoeuvre by the
PRS will appear at the top of the list, followed       government in the run-up to legislative
by PLD, FPD, PDP-ANA, PPE, FNLA,                       elections".
PAJOCA, FOFAC, Nova Democracia, MPLA,
UNITA, PADEPA, PRD and AD-Coligacao.                   RSF claims that the radio station is
                                                       “independent”. However, it is in fact the
TV and Radio allocate equal airtime for daily          successor to UNITA’s Radio Vorgan and was
party political broadcasts                             born of the peace agreement between the
                                                       government and UNITA signed in Lusaka in
Each of the 14 political parties standing in the       1994. That agreement specified that
elections have been allocated a daily                  Despertar was to be a non-partisan FM radio
allowance of five minutes on the state                 station.
television network and a further ten minutes
on the state radio service for party political         The government has also come under fire for
broadcasts.                                            failing to allow Radio Ecclesia, which is owned
                                                       by the Catholic Church, to broadcast
Thus an hour and ten minutes in the television         nationwide, and for allegedly harassing
schedule is now devoted daily to political             journalists from the independent media. In
parties from 19.15 hours.                              December 2007 Armando Chicoca, a
                                                       correspondent from Radio Ecclesia was
The running order of the broadcasts was                convicted of “disobeying state authority” whilst
decided by the CNE holding a lottery on 29             reporting on a demonstration of street vendors
July. As a result, PADEPA will broadcast their         in Namibe province. He was found not guilty
message at 19.15 followed by UNITA,                    of inciting revolt.
PRS, PRD, MPLA, PLD, Nova Democracia,                  The government argues that the Media Law
FPD, PPE and lastly PAJOCA.                            requires private radio stations to have a
                                                       physical presence in a province in which it
In a similar vein, each party will have a daily        broadcasts, and that this is the reason why
ten-minute slot on Radio Nacional de Angola            Radio Ecclesia has a limited licence.
with broadcasts starting at 18.35. For this, the
CNE held yet another draw with FPD having              Election to be held on one day
the first ten minute slot, followed by PRD,
Nova Democracia, AD-Coligacao, PDP-ANA,                The Angolan parliament, the National
PAJOCA, PLD, PPE, FNLA, FOFAC, PRS,                    Assembly, on 9 July confirmed that the
UNITA, MPLA and PADEPA.                                election will be held on 5 September, with the
                                                       possibility of it running over into two days in
Criticism       as     Radio      Despertar            specific localities if exceptional circumstances
silenced                                               occur. This is in line with the decision of
                                                       President Jose Eduardo dos Santos.
The Angolan government has faced criticism
from many quarters for suspending the                  There had been suggestions that the largest
broadcasting licence of Radio Despertar on 8           party, the MPLA, had misgivings over the
July for 180 days the grounds that it has              decision, but in the end the vote in parliament
broken the terms of its licence agreement.             was 130 in favour with one abstention.
Under the terms of the licence Radio
Despertar is allowed to broadcast over a               UNITA parliamentarians did not take part in
range of 50 kilometres. However, the                   the vote, despite earlier in the year demanding
broadcasting authorities found that it was             that the concept of a two-day election be
broadcasting over a range 400 kilometres.              dropped.

On 10 July the organisation Reporters Sans
Frontieres, RSF, complained that "restricting

Extra registration gains 200,000                         identified 12,400 locations where the elections
voters                                                   will be held.

The extended registration period, intended to            On 31 July the CNE formally received the
add citizens to the voters roll who have                 digital version of the mapping for the polling
become 18 years old since the first phase of             stations, and a sample of the registration
registration ended in September 2007, plus an            books. The CNE will shortly receive all the
other citizens who have been missed from the             12,147 registration books.
voters roll for any reason, has added a further
211,554 voters.                                          Now that the number of polling stations is
                                                         verified, the urgent task is to train the electoral
This is much less than the expected 350,000              staff that will run the elections. The staff will
voters that the CNE estimated would be                   receive a weeklong course covering the
added to the register.                                   electoral legislation, conduct of parties and the
                                                         role of observers and monitors.
Including the second phase, which began in
April, the total electorate is 8,302,657. The            In Luanda province 11,883 people will staff
detailed breakdown of the electorate by                  the voting stations. The province, which
province is available on the CNE website                 includes the capital, has 2.4 million people on             the electoral register. In Sambizanga district in
                                                         Luanda there will be over a thousand ballot
                                                         boxes located at over 200 polling stations.
European Union observers arrive
                                                         Meanwhile, in Lunda Sul province more than
The first group of eight electoral observers             3,000 staff will be trained to run polling booths
from the European Union arrived in Luanda on             for the 145,567 registered voters. In
29 July in preparation for the arrival of the rest       neighbouring Bie province 12,000 people are
of the group that will eventually total 100. A           to be trained to staff the 1,200 ballot boxes,
core team will deal with coordinating the                with 471,832 registered voters.
team’s activities including action on legal,
political, media and public relations.
                                                         CNE approves ballot paper
The core team will be joined by fifty long-term
observers who will begin work in August, and             The CNE on 31 July agreed to the layout of
50 short-term observers who will be deployed             the ballot paper for the parliamentary
two weeks before the elections.                          elections. The paper will have each party’s
                                                         name, initials, and symbol.
The European Union was asked to provide
observers by the CNE, who has also invited               Forum holds election seminar
the African Union to send observers.
                                                         Preparations for Angola’s elections were the
National Assembly closes                                 subject of a seminar held by the British Angola
                                                         Forum in London on 11 July at Chatham
The National Assembly on 15 July met for its             House in London
final plenary session before September’s
elections. Any further parliamentary business            Speakers at the seminar included Dame
will be dealt with by the Assembly’s                     Margaret Anstee, who was the United Nations
Permanent Commission, which is made up of                Secretary General’s special representative to
15 parliamentarians from the MPLA, UNITA                 Angola during the country’s last elections,
and PRS.                                                 held in 1992, Dr Liu Haifang of the Chinese
                                                         Academy of Social Sciences, Lisa Rimli of
                                                         Human     Rights    Watch,    and   Britain’s
Voting stations identified                               ambassador to Angola Pat Phillips.
The CNE and the Inter Ministerial Commission             Speakers agreed on the importance of these
for Electoral Process, CIPE, have agreed the             elections, Angola’s first since 1992. There was
number and location of voting stations for the           also agreement that there is little likelihood of
forthcoming elections.                                   a return to war. However, concerns were
                                                         raised on the expected turnout/participation,
On 11 July the CIPE delivered its proposed               and some contributors expressed the view
location of polling stations. The proposal               that the institutions of the state were very
included details of schools and other buildings          supportive of the MPLA. Most commentators
where voting stations can be set up. CIPE                thought the MPLA is likely to win comfortably

and that the elections would be an indicator             CNE, CIPE and the Constitutional Court”, and
for the Presidential elections in 2009.                  stated that the MPLA is “extremely confident
                                                         that the whole of the electoral process will be
It was revealed that Angola is Norway’s                  executed within the established time-frame”.
largest aid programme in Africa and that
British companies are now the second largest             The Presidential election is expected to be
commercial investor in Angola.                           held next year. For Jorge, the decision to not
                                                         to hold the Presidential election at the same
Portuguese loan to Angola                                time as the parliamentary election is in line
                                                         with the country’s constitution, whereby
On 17 July, during a visit to Angola                     Deputies have a mandate of four years whilst
Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates                  the President holds office for five years.
announced the signing of three credit lines to
Angola worth $1.7 billion.                               Some commentators have suggested that the
                                                         MPLA will win up to 80 per cent of the vote.
Luanda     to         get      new       power           According to Paulo Jorge the analysis within
                                                         the MPLA, based on feedback from Party
substation                                               structures and polls, forecast that the MPLA
                                                         will gain more than 60 per cent of the vote.
The company that supplies electricity to the
capital, Luanda, announced that it is to build a         He pointed out that this election will mark the
substation to improve the distribution of power          end of the Lusaka Protocol, the peace
produced by the Capanda hydroelectric dam.               agreement signed in 1994, which provided for
                                                         power sharing between the MPLA and UNITA.
EDEL announced on 29 July that the project               He stated that “in principle” the Government of
will cost $100 million and improve the supply            Unity and National Reconstruction will cease
to the districts of Viana, Samba, Ingombota              to exist.
and Sambizanga.
                                                         The Angola Peace Monitor in March carried
Paulo Jorge optimistic on elections                      an interview with the leader of UNITA, Isaias
                                                         Samakuva, in which he revealed that UNITA
In an exclusive interview with the Angola                had tried to take the political centre-ground,
Peace Monitor, the head of the MPLA’s                    claiming to be a social democratic party
international department, Paulo          Jorge,          despite its continuing alliance with centre-right
expressed optimism that his party would be               parties internationally.
successful in the forthcoming elections.
                                                         Paulo Jorge portrays the MPLA as a left of
Paulo Jorge explained that the MPLA has                  centre party, being " a national party,
been preparing for these elections since 2005,           independent, progressive and modern,
and its leadership has developed “a massive              ideologically based on democratic socialism
mobilisation    effort   of     its   militants,         which congregates in its ranks Angolan
sympathisers and friends”.                               citizens without distinction of social group,
                                                         sex, skin colour, ethnic origin, religious beliefs,
He explained that there have been minor                  or place of birth".
changes to the Electoral Law to allow for
elections to be held on a single day whilst              Internationally, the MPLA is a member of the
ensuring that the following day is available if          Socialist International and a member of the
necessary. He pointed out that “due to the               Organisation of Solidarity of the Peoples of
extent of the country, as well as possible               Africa, Asia and Latin America, OSPAAAL.
impediments affecting the ability of citizens
casting their ballot on the day, there will be the       Paulo Jorge, a former Foreign Minister, is
possibility of them doing so on the next day.            certain to be elected to the next National
                                                         Assembly, having been selected high on the
Paulo Jorge praised “the integrity and                   MPLA’s list of candidates.
competence shown by the members of the

                        The Angola Peace Monitor is produced every month by
                                ACTSA – Action for Southern Africa.
                        ACTSA, 231 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London, SW1V 1EH
                             tel +44 20 3263 2001, fax +44 207 931 9398


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