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Angolan president endorses postponing elections until 2008 and 2009

Angolan president endorses postponing elections until 2008 and 2009

Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has endorsed a recommendation to postpone his country's first elections in 14 years.
Dos Santos said late Thursday that ballots to choose a government and a president should take place in 2008 and 2009, in accordance with last week's recommendation by the Council of the Republic, an advisory body. In 2004, the council recommended elections be held this year, but last week it said voter registration couldn't be completed before June 2007.
More than 945,000 Angolans enrolled during the first phase of voter registration, between November 15 and December 15.
"The success of the first phase of registration showed that our people are eager and committed to contributing to the full normalization of political and social life," Dos Santos said in his traditional end-of-year speech.
"For that reason, I ask for all stages of the registration to be properly concluded and for voters to be educated in their civil duties so that the legislative and presidential elections can be held, within the time frame recommended by the Council of the Republic, in a free, fair and transparent way," he said.
It was Dos Santos's first comment on the advisory body's recommendations.
Foreign countries have in recent years urged Dos Santos, who has ruled this oil- and diamond-rich nation for 27 years, to call elections but he has insisted that logistical snags prevent a quick ballot.
Angola last held elections in 1992 during a break in its protracted civil war.
The fighting broke out after the country's 1975 independence from Portugal and ended in 2002 when the army killed UNITA rebel leader Jonas Savimbi.
Much of the country's transport infrastructure and public records were destroyed in the fighting, and authorities estimate 7 million land mines are still concealed in Angola's soil.


Updated : 2021-03-02 09:04 GMT+08:00