Angola Ruling Party Sweeps to Election Win

Posted September 3rd, 2012 at 9:50 am (UTC-5)
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Election results in Angola show the party of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos sweeping to an easy victory.

Angola's election commission says with most of the votes counted, the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola had 72 percent of the vote.

The leading opposition party, UNITA, won 18 percent. The new opposition Casa party received five and a half percent.

In remarks late Sunday, President dos Santos said he was happy to be re-elected, and promised to form a government that “will work for all Angolans without exception.”

African Union observers say the election was free and fair despite complaints of irregularities from both main opposition parties. UNITA has said it will appeal the results.

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

President dos Santos and the MPLA have ruled Angola since 1979. The election win will give the 70-year-old Mr. dos Santos another five-year term in office.

Despite the victory for the MPLA, the election results show other parties making gains. The MPLA's share of the vote was down slightly from the 82 percent it received in 2008 while UNITA saw its total nearly double.

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.