“The biggest challenge that Angola faces in 2020 is the realization of autarchies, as we all know, and this is exactly the commitment made by the President of the Republic, by the MPLA, which is now being denied. All the indicators point us to not have municipal elections because the MPLA is afraid of making municipalities, is convinced that it does not win them and, therefore, is now in a movement to prevent this act”, said Adalberto da Costa Júnior.
The president of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), elected in November 2019, was speaking in an interview to the Lusa agency, in Praia, outside the Movement for Democracy convention, party in power in Cape Verde.
Cape Verde, which also proclaimed independence in 1975, holds its eighth municipal elections in the second half of this year and Adalberto da Costa Júnior pointed out the option made by the island country as “the best example” for Angola.
“At a certain moment, with a lot of poverty, with few resources, with many difficulties, he also had the same dilemma: Hold local elections only in some locations or across the country at the same time. And he had the courage, the patriotism, all the leaders, to embrace a national challenge (…) and Cape Verde only won”, he emphasized.
The first municipal elections in the country were announced earlier by the Government and the MPLA for 2020, and a municipal legislative package was presented to the National Assembly, a process that has not yet been concluded.
“Only two laws are missing from the municipal package, from public commitment, and the assembly, which is easily able to pass 10, 12 laws per month, does not approve two, which are priorities, only if you don't want to”, said Adalberto da Costa Júnior, who was also a parliamentary leader of UNITA.
He also guaranteed that the theme of municipalities was discussed at the meeting he held in January with the President of the Republic, João Lourenço.
“I am not going to say what he answered to this question. But the truth is that, interpreting all those that are public actions, the MPLA is running away completely from the commitments: There are no more municipalities in their speeches, the President of the Republic went to open the political year and did not speak about the municipalities and their commitment”, criticized.
The leader of the ‘black cock’ party therefore stated that the electoral process of local authorities is “no longer a priority” for the MPLA.
"On the contrary. They are trying to take other initiatives to the assembly and continue to transfer the postponement responsibility to the assembly, because this is the position of the President of the Republic: I do not call because the parliament did not approve”, he said.
For the leader of UNITA, the MPLA leadership intends to introduce in Angola the model of gradualism, “of only making elections in some localities” and “thus following the bad example of Mozambique”, which “has had an autonomous model for more than 25 years and today there are no municipalities across the country”.
In contrast, it points to the development that the institution of local government has allowed in Cape Verde.
“From Cape Verde, in fact, there are opportunities for good examples. Today, Cape Verde no longer discusses these issues. It is discussing more sophisticated models that can bring even more benefits to communities”, stressed Adalberto da Costa Júnior.