“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,” a translation of the message posted in Portuguese read.
Felicito Adalberto da Costa Júnior pela sua eleição a Presidente do maior Partido da oposição.
Que esta eleição represente o fortalecimento da oposição,a bem da democracia.
— João Lourenço (@jlprdeangola) November 15, 2019
Adalberto Costa Junior of UNITA party was elected late last week to lead the former rebel group turned political party.
He won the most votes at a three-day congress of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola which ended Friday in Luanda. He 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 further unite the party and lead it to serve the greater 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 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.