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Angolan President: Elections to Be Held by August


Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos says legislative elections will likely be held sometime between May and August of next year.

Angolan media Thursday quote Mr. dos Santos as making that remark on Wednesday, at the end of his visit to Mozambique.

He said Angola's electoral registration process has been completed, and that about eight million people are eligible to vote.

President dos Santos' government has delayed the election several times, citing Angola's poor roads and infrastructure as reasons.

The southern African country is still recovering from a 27-year civil war that ended in 2002.

The vote, if it occurs, would be only the second multi-party election in Angola's history.

Presidential elections are expected to follow in 2009.

The Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola, or the MPLA, has governed the country since independence from Portugal in 1975. It will compete against the Union for the Total Independence of Angola, or UNITA, and several smaller parties.

The civil war between MPLA and UNITA killed an estimated 300,000 people and displaced one-fourth of the population.

Angola first held multi-party elections in 1992, raising hopes for an end to the civil war, but UNITA rejected the results and fighting resumed.

After the death of UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi in an ambush in 2002, the two sides signed a peace deal and formed a government of national reconciliation.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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