Angola Opposition Parties Unite to Challenge MPLA’s 46-Year Rule
(Bloomberg) -- Angola’s three main opposition parties formed a coalition to field a single presidential candidate in next year’s elections in the hope of unseating the ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola, which has held power for 46 years.
The United Patriotic Front, or FPU, named Adalberto Costa Junior as its candidate to challenge President Joao Lourenco in the August 2022 vote, group spokesman Amandio Capoco said in Luanda, the capital. Costa Junior is the leader of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, which is the largest opposition party and known by its Portuguese acronym Unita.
The group is made up of “Angolans eager for change”, Capoco said. Other members include PRA-JA Servir Angola and Bloco Democratico, whose leaders will become deputy chairs.
The MPLA has led Africa’s third-biggest oil producer since independence from colonial power, Portugal, in 1975. Under the country’s electoral system, the leader of the party with the most votes becomes president.
Lourenco came into power in 2017 vowing to fight corruption and poverty in a country where World Bank data shows almost half of the population of 31 million lives on less than $2 a day. Since then, Angola’s gross domestic product has contracted for four straight years and little progress has been made in diversifying the oil-dependent economy.
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