Angola’s ruling MPLA party wins 74 percent of vote

An Angolan man casts his ballot on August 31, 2012 at a polling station in the outskirts of Luanda. The ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola party (MPLA) of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, which has been in power since independence 37 years ago, compete today in the legislative poll against 8 other political parties, including the main opposition Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). Dos Santos promised that with a new term he would push ahead with his multi-billion-dollar drive to rebuild the country after the civil war that ended a decade ago. MPLA is widely expecting to win the elections and beat the UNITA former rebel movement which does not have the same access to funds or the state-controlled media. AFP PHOTO/ STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN

President Jose Eduardo dos Santos’ ruling party has won 74 percent of the national vote, assuring his government, in power for 33 years, another five years in power.

With more than 73 percent of the votes counted from Friday’s poll, the state election commission said Sunday that the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola has gained a large majority, but it is down from the 82 percent that it won in 2008.

The largest opposition party, UNITA, won 18 percent of the vote, nearly twice its share from 2008. And newcomer party, CASA-CE, gained 4.6 percent. Both opposition parties criticized the elections for not being free and fair.

The elections were largely peaceful and relatively well-organized in this country of 19 million that is Africa’s second largest oil producer.

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