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» 09.02.2010 - Angola elects speaker
» 03.02.2010 - Angola’s new cabinet is sworn-in
» 21.01.2010 - Angola parliament stamps new constitution
» 14.01.2010 - Angola to endorse new constitution
» 11.03.2009 - UNITA accuses president of delaying polls for selfish benefit
» 23.02.2009 - Reform electoral commission – HRW
» 02.10.2008 - Angola unveils new cabinet
» 17.09.2008 - MPLA wins Angola's elections

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Vote rigging alledged in Angolan election

afrol News, 8 September - European Union observer has revealed that vote-rigging was widespread in recent Angolan election, where ruling MPLA is expected to win by a landslide.

Election observer Richard Howitt has revealed to media that he received reports that members of ruling party offered bribes and that soldiers and MPLA officials apparently intimidated voters.

Mr Howitt told media that there had been "massive hand-outs" of money, televisions, radios, alcohol and cars.

Observers also received reports of people crossing borders from neighboring countries to cast ballots in Angola, he added.

Voters had to pass soldiers at the entrance to one polling station, he said.

"I personally saw representatives of ruling party standing not just in polling station, but in front of booths where people were voting," Mr Howitt said.

He added, "After a fairly tortuous journey, we came across most phenomenal scene, where tents, marquees, beds, lavish food was there, and up to 1,500 people, five of whom we interviewed, and gave us evidence that this was all funded by government."

Observers from Southern African Development Community, however, said voting was "transparent and credible."

A member of community of Portuguese-speaking countries observer mission also said that despite logistical problems, vote had been transparent.

Though UNITA is challenging conduct of poll, party leader Isaias Samakuva said democracy had prevailed.

"Our country has completed an important step for consolidation of our fragile democracy," Mr Samakuva said.

"From now on, each government is only going to last four years, not more than 33 years," he said.

In run-up to Friday's election, opposition UNITA accused MPLA of intimidating supporters and dominating state media.

With more than two-thirds of votes counted, MPLA had 82 percent and opposition UNITA 10.5 percent after Friday's voting.

Some eight million voters were registered in the country, and more than a quarter of them live in capital, Luanda.

MPLA has ruled Angola since country gained independence from Portugal in 1975 but it fought a civil war against UNITA until 2002.

Final provisional results of parliamentary poll were due later today.

The elections are first in Angola for 16 years, and are seen as a crucial step in country's recovery from decades of civil war.

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