President Joao Lourenco has personally welcomed the newly elected opposition chief to the country’s political space.
The actions by the President have been commended by critics and political commentators who claim such measures are good for democracy, not only in Angola but Africa in general.
Angolan President, Joao Lourenco welcomed the new opposition leader with a message posted on his Twitter handle.
His message read (after translation from Portuguese to English):
“I congratulate Adalberto da Costa Junior on his election as President of the largest opposition party. May this election represent the strengthening of opposition in the interests of democracy.”
The country’s new opposition leader, Adalberto Costa Junior was elected to lead the former rebel group turned political party, National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA).
He was elected after he emerged victorious at the pools during the just-concluded three-day congress of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola in Luanda.
Adalberto da Costa Junior won the most votes at the pools and took over from Isaias Samakuva, who resigned after 16 years at the helm.
Addressing his supporters in the capital Luanda on Saturday, the 57-year-old stressed his resolve to unite the party further and lead it to serve the more significant interests of the masses in the southern African country.
“Now on, from today, I take on my role as President at the heart of UNITA, for everyone and for all members, be they, activists or sympathizers, without any reservation or exception.
“I will talk to you about my strategy for the party, which is to create a new dynamic to maintain cohesion, encourage patriotism and serve the people,” he told the gathering.
Aside from being opposition chief, Costa Junior doubles up as the party’s parliamentary leader.
The former rebel group has lost every election it has contested since it transformed into an opposition party in 2002. Its supporters hope that this succession could steer the party to victory at the ballot box.
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Header Image Credit: ANGOP