– Presidency of the Council of the European Union
– U.S. State Department
– U.S. Congress
– Pedro Sánchez, Prime Minister of Spain
– Presidency of the Organization of African Union
16 de Fevereiro 2022
U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken,
Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain to Angola, Manuel L. Lobo
U.S. Ambassador to Angola, Tulinabo Mushingi
President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola
Commons Speaker, Lindsay Hoyle
Senator Robert Menendez
European Union Ambassador to Angola, Jeannette Seppen
Senator James Risch
Representative Yvette Clarke
Senator Timothy Kaine
Representative Mark Green
Senator Marco Rubio
Representative Albio Sires
Representative Karen Bass
Representative Michael McCaul
Elections: Obscure Hiring of Indra Sistemas S.A. and the Future of Democracy in Angola
We, the undersigned, representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and members of Angolan civil society, actors in the human rights, peacebuilding and humanitarian aid sectors, send you this letter to express our deep concern over the obscure contracting of the company Indra – Sistemas, SA (Indra), based in Madrid, Avenida de Brussels nº 35, 28108 Alcobendas – by the Angolan National Electoral Commission to provide electoral logistics services for the 2022 national elections in Angola.
Indra’s entire contracting process was not transparent and did not follow the basic contractual requirements of healthy competition. The National Electoral Commission (CNE) did not act independently or transparently. It announced a cosmetic public tender, received two bids (Smartmatic and Indra), disqualified Smartmatic for unclear reasons and awarded the contract based on the only bid it agreed to consider. All this is in violation of the Angolan law that governs the negotiation process, whose article 125 determines that “whenever possible, the number of candidates selected must not be less than five”.
Indra has been the preferred partner of the Angolan Government for the organization of the elections held in 2008, 2012 and 2017, and which have always been contested and proven to be fraudulent. The Angolan courts are subject to the executive power and do not decide only in terms of the Constitution and the law.
Furthermore, according to the Noticias Club-k portal, Indra has already been convicted in Spain of illegal commissions. Fraudulent acts have already been sanctioned according to the file S/DC/0627/18, of May 2021, and S/DC/056/15, of July 2018, of the National Commission of Markets and Competence of Spain (CNMC). According to the same newspaper, the National Elections Commission (CNE) also violated article 53 of the contract law, which says that national companies must be prioritized in order to be empowered. CNE, by demanding electoral experience in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) zone, excludes national companies as they have never participated in elections in SADC or anywhere else in the world.
According to several reports, including Voz da América and the 2017 blog post by Amigos de Angola, a Washington DC-based civil society organization, a request was sent to the Spanish Embassy requesting an investigation into the Spanish company Indra, in an effort to prevent this company from being hired by the Angolan government in 2017. The application letter, signed by Florindo Chivucute, Executive Director of the Friends of Angola, states that “a threat to democracy in Angola must be seen as a threat against all democratic nations.” The letter based its concerns on a memorandum signed by UNITA and shared with the European Union Mission, which contained three disturbing facts. Once again, the Angolan government is trying to hire Indra to try to subvert the people’s free choice and undermine our democratic system again, during the next elections scheduled for August 2022.
We strongly urge the United States of America, the European Union, the African Union, non-governmental organizations and all peoples and governments of the world to support the efforts of the Angolan people to organize democratic, free, fair, auditable, and transparent elections.
Excellencies, please accept the assurances of our highest consideration.
1- Friends of Angola (Amigos de Angola)
2- Observatório da Imprensa
3- SOS Habitat-Accao Solidária
4- Associação Construindo Comunidades-ACC
5- Organização Humanitária Internacional-OHI
6- Obsetvatorio para Coesão Social e Justiça
7- Jango Cultural
11- Plataforma Mulheres em Acçao
Members of civil society
1- Florindo Chivucute
2- Luiz Araujo
3- Alexandra Gamito
4- Jose Gama
5- Domingos da Cruz
6- Jesse Lufendo Ngolo
7- Padre Jacinto Pio Wacussanga
8- João Misselo da Silva
9- Leonor de Freitas
12- Euclides de Castro