9/13/2008

Angola: African cheer

Sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest oil exporter held its first elections in 16 years

IT SHOULD be a moment for Angola, and the rest of Africa, to smile. Some 8m Angolans were registered, of a population of 17m, to cast their ballots in parliamentary elections on Friday September 5th. They did so in only the second multiparty election since independence in 1975. The previous time, in 1992, a dispute over the result propelled Jonas Savimbi, then the leader of a rebel-movement-turned-political-party, to flee to the bush and restart a brutal civil war that continued until his death in 2002. This time the election was widely expected to be peaceful, and the prospect of renewed conflict is almost certainly nil.

Despite some delays, it seemed likely that a successful set of parliamentary elections would be followed by presidential and local ones next year. Nobody expected a squeaky-clean poll. Human Rights Watch, a monitoring group, says that the ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), which has held power continuously since independence, had exploited its power of incumbency to guarantee itself a victory. ...



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[Source: The Economist: News analysis - Posted by FreeAutoBlogger]

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