In an interview with DW, UNITA deputy Raúl Danda calls the new president of the CNE of Angola, Manuel Silva Pereira, “corrupt”. Danda announces resistance to the nomination and does not rule out the possibility of further demonstrations.
The National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) will “continue to refute” the appointment of Manuel Silva Pereira “Manico” as president of Angola’s National Electoral Commission (CNE), Raúl Danda, deputy of the largest opposition party, told DW. On Wednesday (20.02), in a sign of protest, the opposition abandoned in block the National Assembly because it considers that the new holder does not meet the standards of probity to take office.
The ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) alone approved the inauguration of the new president of the CNE. In an interview with DW Africa, Raúl Danda said he was disappointed with President João Lourenço, whom he accuses of “promoting a corrupt man.” The Deputy guarantees that the (UNITA) will not lower his arms. And if the appointment of “Manico” is not annulled, Raúl Danda says that a very likely scenario is new demonstrations in Angola.
DW Africa : Will UNITA still try to reverse this inauguration of the president of the CNE ?
Raúl Danda (RD) : Well, what we’re going to do, obviously, is continue to refute Mr. Pereira da Silva as president of the National Electoral Commission. We can’t accept that. It’s not a UNITA problem. It’s not an opposition problem. It’s a problem for Angola and angolans. Angolans don’t want it. The President of the Republic, as I have clearly said, is the one who wants it. Because when the President of the Republic for some cases says it is a power apart, and respects this and that, but then practically orders the National Assembly to give possession to someone who has no suitability, nor morals, someone who does not meet the standards of probity, this is very serious. President João Lourenço’s fight against corruption is false, because he is protecting someone who is corrupt.
DW Africa : UNITA called on the President of the Republic to cancel this contest and to listen to the opposition parties. Were you disappointed by this response from João Lourenço?
RD : Very disappointed, because we realised that what the President of the Republic has been saying about the fight against corruption is a fallacy, not true. I’m sorry, mr. Manico, who took office yesterday before the MPLA Members, and only of those, is someone who has an audit, so to speak, ordered by the former president of the National Electoral Commission, and who shows clear deviations of funds, expenses that he carried out that he should not carry out, money that went to seek. And we’re talking millions of dollars.
DW Africa : In the light of this new paradigm of observance of probity in Angola and the fight against corruption, does this person, for UNITA, not meet conditions for the position ?
RD : Absolutely. It does not meet conditions for unita or anyone else. Moreover, this gentleman, if he had had a little sense of shame and dignity, he would not have even appeared before members to give him possession. So either the man is very corrupt and so he accepts that, or else he is someone who, frankly, does not give any value. I don’t see how that man comes home and looks at his family after everything that happened yesterday here in the National Assembly. I don’t know how that man can look himself in the mirror and like the image he sees reflected in him.
DW Africa : UNITA has called for a debate of political and urgent interest on this issue. Will you insist on this request for debate?
RD : We will insist, but we know that this is falling on deaf ears. Many of the MPLA Members we are talking to are also outraged by this. They are only in political and partisan following. It is an orientation of the direction of the party and at the top of the party is President João Lourenço, unfortunately. So they follow, but many of them don’t agree with what’s going on.
DW Africa : What legal measures can opposition parties take now?
RD : There is an appeal that has been made before the Supreme Court. First, the Supreme Court sent a response to UNITA, but it is not known whether it came from the court or from a square or any market. We don’t know whose it is, because it’s not signed, it doesn’t have anyone’s name. After the complaints, also heard at the level of the press, the Supreme Court sent, we do not know why water cargo, a letter to the president of the National Assembly, saying that had responded to UNITA. I don’t know why that information has to come to the National Assembly. But we’re going to insist. The truth is, UNITA can’t accept it. Angolans cannot and do not want to accept. In fact, there was a demonstration that was organized yesterday (10.09) before the National Assembly, which was repressed once again in a country that claims to be democratic, where President João Lourenço says there is the freedom to speak out. Which is a big lie: people have been repressed, beaten, bled out of here, with tear gas, with dogs on their legs, etc., etc.
DW Africa : After this repression that took place yesterday, the youth group of UNITA will try to speak out again against the swearing-in ?
RD : Against the frustration and displeasure of people, if we do not reverse quickly with this claim to keep a corrupt who want to send to be able to violate and subvert the constitutional order through fraudulent elections, once again, I think it is the Angolan people who will start coming to the street to manifest. We can no longer accept, and President João Lourenço should be ashamed to consider himself President in a election with fraud. That should be enough for this mandate that he is fulfilling, because it was there on the basis of blatant electoral fraud, on the basis of electoral corruption of which he himself was the protagonist, in the light of the law that we have. That should be enough. But insisting on wanting to stay another five years in power on the basis of fraud, that’s the height of little shame.
Source : DW Africa