The ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola, or MPLA, held a commanding lead with 60.65% of the votes in initial provisional results following a general election in Africa’s second-biggest oil producer. 

The MPLA’s biggest challenger, The Union for the Total Independence of Angola, or Unita, received 33.85%, according to Angola’s National Electoral Commission. The provisional results were based on 33.16% of the votes cast, it said on its website.

If the trend continues, the MPLA will extend its almost half a century in power since Angola’s independence from Portugal, maintaining control of the country’s 220-member legislature and Joao Lourenco, 68, will serve a second five-year term as president.

Also read: The Economic Challenges Awaiting Angola’s Next Leader: Charts

While this was the most contested multi-party election in Angola since the end of the civil war in 2002, Wednesday’s vote was peaceful and without any serious incidents, according to the electoral commission. Angola’s seaside capital was calm and there were no signs of celebrations or uproar in the streets after the announcement of the provisional results.

Before the latest tallies were announced, Unita leader Adalberto Costa Junior said in a statement on his official Facebook page that his party was leading the vote count with a wide margin. He cited polling station records seen by Unita. 

The National Electoral Commission is expected to update the provisional results at 8 a.m. local time in Luanda.

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.