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Angolan court rejects opposition claim to annul election result

FILE PHOTO: Adalberto Costa Junior, leader of Angola's main opposition party UNITA, addresses his supporters during the party's final rally at Cazenga, outside the capital Luanda, Angola, August 22, 2022. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Angola's constitutional court rejected on Monday an opposition party claim seeking to annul general election results which handed the victory to the ruling MPLA.

The National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) filed the complaint after the country's electoral commission last week declared the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) the winner of the national election.

The court ruled that UNITA's complaint did not meet the requirements to allow the legal body to annul the results.

FILE PHOTO: A school bus with a flag transports supporters of Angola's main opposition party UNITA, on the way to the party's final rally at Cazenga, outside the capital Luanda, Angola, August 22, 2022. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

UNITA used a procedure reserved for situations in which "there are no other means intended to safeguard the useful effect of the alleged rights," and therefore the claim was dismissed, the judges said.

The electoral commission's results last week gave the MPLA 51.17% of the votes and UNITA 43.95%.

According to UNITA's parallel count, it got 49.5% of the vote and the MPLA 48.2%, UNITA President Adalberto Costa Junior said at a press conference on Monday.

"The data collected by the UNITA (parallel) counting ... reveal huge and unacceptable differences from those published by the CNE (electoral commission)," Costa Junior said. The discrepancies indicate wilful manipulation of the results, he added.

Costa Junior also said 347,436 votes were "subtracted" from UNITA in 15 provincial constituencies, while 185,825 votes were "added" to the MPLA in 16 provincial constituencies.

(Reporting by Catarina Demony and Sergio Goncalves; Writing by Anait Miridzhanian in Johannesburg; Editing by Richard Chang)

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