2008-09-05 18:37:07

Angolans Head to the Polls

(5 Sept 08-RV) Polling stations are set to close in the west African nation of Angola in the first general election since 1992. One of Africa's major oil producers, Angola is also one of the world's poorest countries. It is striving to tackle the legacy of the 27-year civil war that ravaged the country after independence from Portugal in 1975. An estimated 8.3 million people are registered to vote in the contests largely between the ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and the rebel group Unita. Angolan authorities want the election to set an example after flawed ballots elsewhere in Africa, and to demonstrate its recovery from decades of civil war that ended in 2002. Luisa Morgantini, head of the European Union's election observer mission in Angola. She spoke to us from the capital Luanda and said that despite delays, campaigning was free and fair.

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