Angolan State Media Declare Dos Santos, MPLA Big Winners

Posted September 2nd, 2012 at 4:15 pm (UTC-5)
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Angola's state run media say the ruling party of President Eduardo dos Santos is the big winner in the country's national election.

The state election commission said with 85 percent of the votes counted Mr. dos Santos' Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola, or MPLA, had almost three quarters of the vote.

The leading opposition party, UNITA, had 18 percent of the vote. The new opposition Casa party had almost five percent.

Observers from the African Union say Friday's election was free and fair despite complaints from both opposition parties.

Angolans went to the polls to fill 220 seats in parliament. The head of the party winning the most seats becomes the president-elect.

Mr. dos Santos and the MPLA have ruled Angola for the past 32 years. If the election commission confirms their win, Mr. dos Santos will remain in office for another five years.

Despite the likely victory, preliminary election results issued Sunday showed other parties making gains. The MPLA's share of the vote was down slightly from the 82 percent it received in 2008 while with the main UNITA opposition party saw its total nearly double.

Final results were expected in several days. Angola has developed into Africa's second-largest oil producer under Mr. dos Santos' rule. But many of the nation's 19 million people live in poverty.