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Thousands protest over Angola election

Mounted police look on as members of the UNITA party march in a demonstration in Luanda on September 24, 2022. Photo: AFP

Angolans in their thousands have taken to protest on Saturday over what they describe as a flawed election which was conducted last month that returned the ruling MPLA to power after nearly five decades of uninterrupted rule.

Opposition group UNITA which was the runner-up in the August 24 election, filed a protest with Angola’s Constitutional Court, but it was dismissed, Reuters says.

“The citizens are not with the MPLA. We want them out!”, the demonstrators chanted.

Many of the votes cast for UNITA, a former rebel organisation that fought the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), the country’s ruling party, came from young people who felt excluded in the governance of the country.

Many of them were among the young and unemployed who feel failed by the MPLA, some of whose members became billionaires from Angola’s oil wealth.

The demonstrators took over Independence Square, traditionally where the MPLA holds rallies and victory parties. The protest was peaceful, although analysts fear there is enough anger and youth frustration for any protests to quickly turn violent.

Writing by Muzha Kucha