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Angolan Leader to Delay Presidential Vote

Angolan president says the country's 1st post-war presidential election will likely be delayed another 3 years until 2012.

Angola's president says the country's first post-war presidential election will likely be delayed for another three years.

President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who had previously said the vote would take place in 2009, says he wants his MPLA party to complete the mandate it won in last year's parliamentary elections.  

That suggests the presidential vote would take place at the same time or after the next legislative polls in 2012.

Mr. dos Santos signalled the delay during a speech Thursday at a party conference in Angola's capital of Luanda.

President dos Santos, who has ruled Angola since 1979, has delayed the presidential poll several times.

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

The leader says he will announce another date for the presidential election after parliament approves a new constitution in March.  The Angolan government opened public debate on a new constitution in November.

Mr. dos Santos's MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola) won a sweeping victory in the 2008 parliamentary elections.  His government has been using oil revenue to rebuild infrastructure and the economy after the long civil war.

The MPLA has been in power since independence from Portugal in 1975.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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