The Angolan government has banned opinion polling on elections during the electoral campaign period. Also barred from traveling abroad were ministers, secretaries of state, governors and deputy governors, an official said.
Angola will hold its general election in August and the start of the electoral campaigns is yet to be announced.
According to Manuel Homem, the Minister of Telecommunications, Information Technologies and Social Communication, banning of polling during elections was discussed by lawmakers and is now under the scope of the Law Proposal.
“The understanding of the opposition lawmakers is that this research should be carried out on election day, but the government understands that it should not be like that,” he said.
All research and polling activities can be carried out and announced before the beginning of the electoral campaign period, Mr Homem said.
However, the government proposal does not prevent studies and polls from being carried out during the electoral period as long as they are not disclosed in the media or made public during this period, he added.
Also all ministers, secretaries of state, governors and deputy governors were last Monday barred from travelling abroad from May 15 until the next president takes over office after the August general election.
The announcement, signed by President Lourenço, says the measure was taken “considering that the end of the term of office of the Executive for the period 2017-2022 is approaching”.
“Taking into account the need to maximize the results of the institutional articulation work carried out, as well as to take stock of the activities carried out during the term of office by the various bodies of the central and local administration of the State,” it adds.
The order clarifies that the suspension exempts the minister and secretaries of state in the Foreign Affairs docket.
Another exemption is “entities that travel to attend specific and unavoidable situations, provided they are duly authorised”.
Ruling party candidate
The ruling party, People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), endorsed President João Lourenço to be its flagbearer for the polls, giving him a chance to vie for a second term.
According to Angola’s electoral system, the leader of the party with the majority of votes becomes president.
The MPLA has ruled Angola since independence in 1975.
President Lourenço will face off in the August polls opponents with Adalberto Costa Júnior from the main opposition party Unita, Manuel Fernandes from Casa-Ce, and Benedito Daniel from PRS.
FNLA’s Nimi a Simbi, BD’s Filomeno Vieira Lopes, and Pra-Ja Servir Angola’s Abel Chivukuvuku will also contest in the polls.