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Angola Gives Official Go-Ahead for September Elections


Officials in Angola say the nation's long-awaited parliamentary elections will take place on September 5.

State-run radio announced the date Wednesday, quoting a decree from President Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

The president said the voting will take place on just one day instead of two, as previously planned.

The parliamentary elections will be the first in 16 years, and only the second multi-party vote in Angola's history.

The former rebel movement that is now the main opposition party, UNITA, has been calling for elections since Angola ended its 27-year civil war in 2002.

Authorities scheduled a vote in 2006, but the process has been delayed several times.

Political analysts say the September vote will test Mr. dos Santos' popularity ahead of presidential elections next year. The former guerrilla fighter has ruled Angola since 1979.

His Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola has been in power since independence from Portugal in 1975.

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

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