In Angola, the ruling
MPLA party is headed for a landslide victory in Friday's legislative elections.
The vote count so far gives it more than 80 percent, with the opposition party,
UNITA, getting only about 10.5 percent.
correspondent Scott Bob, who's in the Angolan capital, Luanda, following the
country's first elections in 16 years, spoke to English to Africa Service
reporter Joe De Capua.
European Commission…has delivered its preliminary observation, which coincides
for the most part with those of the African regional organizations and the
Angola domestic observers. (The assessment was) that despite mostly, primarily
organizational, procedural, logistical, technical problems…the elections
basically were transparent and overall the will of the people was respected,"
European observer, Richard Howitt, says that he personally observed
intimidation of voters in Cabina Province, calling it a "serious misuse of
government resources." Correspondent Bobb says the head of the European
observer delegation had noted the report and will investigate further in the
final tally of the votes may come Tuesday or Wednesday, but Bobb says little is
expected to change, with the MPLA far ahead of second-place UNITA.
says observers did note that while the various parties received equal time on
the evening news to present their views, state media heavily broadcast stories
of the accomplishments of the current government regarding rebuilding of
infrastructure, schools, etc.
says, "Many of the people I spoke to said, well, the MPLA may have won these
elections by a landslide…there will be more elections in four years time."
For an analysis of the Angolan election, VOA
English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua spoke to Mohamed El-Khawas,
professor of history and political science at the University of the District of
Columbia, in Washington, DC. Asked if there were any surprises in the Angolan
elections, Profess El-Khawas says, "I don't think there were any surprises
because the MPLA controls the government mechanism and they have been able to
sell themselves to the public as the only political party that has saved Angola
from destruction by UNITA. UNITA, which is a second major political party and
the main rival of the MPLA, had a really bad reputation among the Angolans
because of the atrocities that they committed during the civil war."
says some problems were expected because Angola did not have any democratic
tradition. He says that it took 16 years after the fighting ended for the
country to get to the point of holding legislative elections. The presidential
election is scheduled for next year.
comments on the heavy state media coverage of government accomplishments in
recent years that preceded Friday's election.
feeling really is that happens everywhere whether the election is being held in
the Middle East or in Africa. The government is controlling the media…. They
have a chance to propagandize their accomplishments in or to weaken the
opposition. It is true that everybody was given five minutes or so on the eve
of the election to present their views, but the heavy doses of media coverage of
the president, his activities, his accomplishments, which might not have any
direct impact on the election itself, it would have a great deal of impact on
UDC professor says that if UNITA were going to successfully compete against the
MPLA in future elections, it would have to spend a lot of time and effort
rebuilding its public image.