Angola kicks off election campaigns, free airtime offered each party

By Temba Museta    

Election campaigning in Angola officially started on July 23 and the six contesting parties in the August 23 elections have hit the ground running to convince the electorate to vote for them.

The Angolan state media has offered 10 minutes free airtime for each party to campaign on the state-run radio station RNA, and five minutes to campaign on state-run Televisão Pública de Angola (TPA) each day.

The political parties include the ruling MPLA led by Joao Lourenco, main opposition UNITA led by Isaias Samakuva, FNLA, PRS, APN and the coalition CASA-CE party.

The MPLA’s Joao Lourenco started his campaign on Sunday last week via a radio broadcast calling on the people to renew his party’s mandate to implement the plans they have for the country’s development.

He added that his party had done more right than wrong and they are abiding by their new motto of “improving what is right and correcting what is wrong”.

The main opposition UNITA started its campaign in the northern province of Cabinda where it unveiled its manifesto that aims to improve the country.

Among their priorities is to offer unconditional assistance to former rebels and people with disabilities.

UNITA’s deputy president Raul Danda presented its parliamentary candidates to the supporters in Cabinda.

However, infighting has intensified within UNITA.

The main opposition party is not satisfied with the departure of president Dos Santos but rather want regime change.

“Angolans wanted peace and then oil enabled Angola to earn large sums of money. Angola could have diversified is economy.

Unfortunately, our government does not have the best vision.

“After oil, Angola will have to take another track… that is why, as a young Angolan I said no I said no, it is necessary that I commit myself politically so that I can also give my modest contribution to change this country,” Angolan opposition party leader, Rafael Savimbi, said.

After a long war for positions, UNITA has finally found stability to engage in the fight.

“During these 15 years, it was necessary to give hope to the people.

It was necessary to re-mobilise the troops as we said, it is something that has not been easy.

But it should be given time so that the people would better understand the reasons for the fighting within UNITA, “ Savimbi added

The ruling party hopes to win big during the August election.

But, nothing indicates that the retirement of President Dos Santos, after 38 years in power, will change the established order. Campaigning ends on August 21.

• Temba Museta is an Angolan freelance journalist based in Windhoek.    

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