President Lourenco of Angola Set to be Sworn in For a Second Term

Angolan President Joao Lourenco is to be sworn in for a second term on Thursday amid tight security after a disputed electoral win last month.

The inauguration will be held on the historic palm tree-lined Praca da Republica square in the centre of the capital, Luanda.

Large numbers of police and military forces patrolled the streets ahead of the ceremony, a presence the main opposition party said aimed at stifling dissent.

“This setup aims to intimidate citizens who want to demonstrate against the election results on the day of the inauguration of a president without legitimacy,” the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) said in a statement.

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Several heads of state and government, including Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, are expected to be in attendance.

Lourenco, 68, returned to power after the August 24 vote gave his Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) a thin majority, winning just 51.17 percent of the votes.

The vote was to choose members of parliament, where the largest party automatically selects the president.

It was the MPLA’s poorest showing in the oil-rich African country it has controlled since independence from Portugal in 1975.

UNITA, a former rebel movement which fought a bitter 27-year civil war against the MPLA government — made significant gains, earning 43.95 percent of the vote, up from 26.67 percent in 2017.

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Opposition parties and civic groups say the vote was marred by irregularities. UNITA disputed the results in court but its appeal was tossed out

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