- Southern African Development Community observer mission has applauded Angola's preparations for the forthcoming 05 September legislative elections.
Praise comes amid accusations by Human Rights Watch that Angola's electoral campaign does not guarantee a free and fair poll as the country runs for its parliamentary elections.
SADC executive secretary, Tómas Salomăo said the regional organisation would deploy around 200 individuals representing all Member States, stressing that observation team would be made up of government officials, representatives of civil society and of NGOs covering the whole country.
European Union has already deployed its observers but other observers from governments and international and regional organisations are expected in Angola to follow up on legislative elections, whose electoral campaign started on 5 August.
Human Rights Watch has revealed last week that free and fair election at September legislative polls was under threat because of intimidation of opposition as well as alleged meddling with country's electoral commission.
The group's director noted that, "less than a month before elections, it is clear Angolans aren't able to campaign free from threats or pressure. And unless things change now, Angolans won't be able to cast their votes freely."
Only 10 political parties and four alliances have been cleared to contest parliamentary elections scheduled early next month. More than 5,000 candidates will contest 220 parliamentary seats.
Angola has been recovering from years of civil war and wants to set an example to other states within the continent, following disputed polls in Kenya and Zimbabwe. The 5 September polls will be first national vote in 16 years.
September polls will choose representatives for the Luanda parliament, while presidential polls are expected in 2009.
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