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Angola: President Lourenco sworn in for second term after contentious poll

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President Joao Lourenco of Angola has been sworn in for a second term in office after a disputed election last month in which the opposition parties said was fraught with rigging and irregularities.

Lourenco took his second oath of office for another five years amid tight security in the capital Luanda on Thursday after for fear of the major opposition force, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), going forward with the threat of disrupting the ceremony.

Lourenco who is the leader of the ruling party, the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) which has been in power in the past four decades, took the oath of office in the presence of at least African heads of state and dozens of other diplomats from around the world.

The President was declared winner of the August 24 general elections on August 29, with the National Electoral Commission (CNE) saying he had won 51.17 percent of the votes cast, while UNITA, the largest opposition party in the country, gained 43.95 percent of the total votes cast, the largest it has ever won.

In the aftermath of the election, UNITA, a former rebel group who fought the MPLA for nearly three decades, said it rejected the result and went to the Supreme Court to challenge the result.

UNITA repeatedly said that it did not recognise the results of the vote, and that various complaints have been filed with the electoral commission. The party has cited discrepancies between the commission’s count and the party’s own tally.

UNITA leader and presidential candidate, Adalberto Costa Junior, in an address to the nation on the disputed poll, had said:

“The MPLA did not win the election… we have been in peace for 20 years, and we now need to embrace a true democratic rule of law.”

Lourenco himself had acknowledged the polls had been “the most disputed elections of the history of the young Angola democracy,” but said they had nonetheless “contributed to the strengthening of our democracy”.

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Lesotho to hold parliamentary election as political instability rages

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Southern African nation, Lesotho will hold its parliamentary elections on Friday despite political instability rocking the country following the inability of politicians to pass constitutional reforms meant to end years of conflicts.

The ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC) which has been in power in the country since 2017, has continued to battle with internal divisions within the party which led to the appointment of two prime ministers in five years.

One of the prime ministers, Thomas Thabane, stepped down in 2020 after he was charged with the murder of his ex-wife.

His successor, Moeketsi Majoro, declared a state of emergency in August this year after legislators failed to pass two bills meant to end political volatility in parliament.

But in September, Lesotho’s highest court ruled the declaration unconstitutional.

The proposed constitutional reforms would have amended everything from the role of political parties, to rules over floor-crossing in parliament, the appointment of senior officials and the role of the prime minister.

The aim of the proposed reforms, according to the Prime Minister, was to make Lesotho less prone to political logjams when disagreements occur but the lawmakers had failed to agree on them.

The general elections scheduled to be held in on October 7, will see the election of120 members of the National Assembly and the Lower House of Assembly.

According to the guidelines for the elections, the 120 members of the National Assembly will be elected using the mixed-member proportional representation system, with voters casting two votes.

Eighty members are elected from single-member constituencies by first-past-the-post voting, with the remaining 40 elected from a single nationwide constituency as leveling seats, which are allocated to make seat totals reflect the national vote share.

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President Tshisekedi of Congo DR appoints new military chiefs amidst growing unrest

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The presidency in the Democratic Republic of Congo has replaced the head of the armed forces as part of broader military reforms aimed at boosting efficiency.

President Felix Tshisekedi appointed Christian Tshiwewe Songhesha, former commander of the Republican Guard, an elite unit in charge of protecting the head of state.

Songhesha replaces Célestin Mbala Musense as the army chief of staff, the government said in a statement late on Monday.

The president’s deputy director of communications, Giscard Kusema, told journalists that the wave of appointments is part of a broader framework of military reform.

He further revealed that “almost the entire staff has been replaced by young officers. Several are from the Republican Guard, but not all, and that’s because they have proven themselves.”

“For years, all the experts have been asking for a military programming law that gives more financial autonomy to the army and flexibility in procedures,” Kusema added.

Congo is one of the troubled zones of East Africa. between 1998 and 2003, government forces supported by Angola, Namibia, and Zimbabwe fought rebels backed by Rwanda and Uganda in what is known as the Second Congo War.

Unfortunately, the wave of unrest does not seem to be over as the country remains a territory for terror acts with multiple attacks lately.

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