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Angola Votes


ANGOLA-ELECTION/

Angolans went to the polls August 31st for only the third time in 37 years.

Angolans went to the polls August 31st for only the third time in 37 years since gaining their independence from Portugal, electing members of parliament and effectively returning President Jose Eduardo dos Santos to office for another 5 years. The vote passed smoothly and without any serious incidents, polling officials and election observers said. Some opposition parties, though, are considering moves to challenge the results because of alleged irregularities in voter registration and ballot tallying.

The month-long campaign leading up to last week’s vote laid out many of the issues facing the nation, and it is estimated almost 60 pecent of eligible voters turned out to have their voices heard. The United States commends the Angolan people for their participation and applauds the nation’s political parties for their civic engagement and constructive dialogue on Angola’s future.

The 2012 election marks an important step on Angola’s path to democracy. The United States looks forward to working with the government, all political parties represented in the national assembly, local civil society groups and the Angolan people to further advance our shared interests in democracy, human rights, security, health and economic growth.

It is also true, though, that there are important concerns that have been raised about unequal access to the media, problems with voter rolls and lack of timely accreditation of election observers. We urge Angolan authorities to promptly investigate and address all such electoral complaints, while working to augment political rights and civil liberties.
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