The Latest: Opposition challenges Angola ruling party claim

Johannesburg - The Latest on Angola's election (all times local):

13:35 

The main opposition party in Angola is challenging the ruling party's claim that it won national elections and is urging the country's election commission to release provisional results.

The Portuguese news agency Lusa reports that Raul Danda, vice president of the opposition UNITA party, said on Thursday that results from its own count "completely contradict" the assertion of the ruling MPLA party that it won a majority with five million votes counted so far.

The MPLA party says its alleged victory opens the way for Defense Minister Joao Lourenco to succeed President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who has been in power for 38 years.

Angola's election commission has not released any results of the vote. About 9.3 million Angolans were registered to vote for the 220-member National Assembly; the winning party then selects the president.

12:20 

Angola's ruling party says it has won a majority in the country's election with five million votes counted so far, opening the way for the defense minister to succeed President Jose Eduardo dos Santos after his 38-year rule.

The report on Thursday by Portuguese news agency Lusa comes as the main opposition UNITA party alleges that police fired shots and made arrests near some polling stations on Wednesday in Huambo city.

Election officials say the vote went smoothly despite minor problems.

About 9.3 million Angolans were registered to vote for the 220-member National Assembly; the winning party then selects the president. Dos Santos' chosen successor is Joao Lourenco, the defense minister and a former governor.

11:00 

Angolans are awaiting the results of an election in which the defense minister is the front-runner to succeed President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who will quit after 38 years in power.

While election officials say Wednesday's vote went smoothly despite minor problems, the main opposition UNITA party alleges that police fired shots and made arrests near some polling stations as people voted in Huambo city.

The Portuguese news agency Lusa quotes a UNITA official, Liberty Chiaka, as saying police dispersed crowds because they didn't want people to wait to find out results at the polling stations.

In the 2012 election, UNITA lost to the ruling MPLA party, which denied allegations of voting irregularities.

Dos Santos' chosen successor is Joao Lourenco, the defense minister and a former governor.

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