Saturday, September 01, 2012
Dos Santos' party heads for Angola election win
LUANDA (Reuters) - Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos' ruling MPLA party headed on Saturday for an expected comfortable win in national elections, with 74.46 percent after more than half the votes had been counted, electoral officials said.
Provisional results of Friday's vote from the national elections commission put the MPLA well ahead of its nearest rivals with results in from nearly 60 percent of polling stations. The election had been criticised as one-sided and plagued with irregularities by opposition leaders.
Under the constitution, an MPLA win means Dos Santos, who turned 70 this week, is elected for a further 5-year term on top of the nearly 33 years he has already served as leader of Africa's second largest oil producer.
The provisional results announced on Saturday gave the MPLA's closest challenger, former rebel group UNITA, 17.94 percent, while the third-placed CASA-CE party had 4.53 percent.
The provisional turnout was just over 57 percent, the commission said.
It was only the third national election since Angola won independence from Portugal in 1975, and the second since the end a decade ago of a 27-year civil war.
(Reporting by Pascal Fletcher and Shrikesh Laxmidas)