Angolans head to polls to vote for parliament and president

  • Angolans cast their ballots on Friday in the second national elections since the country’s 27-year civil war ended ten years ago.

    Voting was carried out smoothly despite earlier fears of poll irregularities and a day after Unita, the main opposition party, had called for a delay.

    President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, 70, is expected to win another five-year term. He has been in power since 1979 and is the second longest serving leader in Africa.

    The elections are the first to be held under a new constitution that abolished direct presidential elections, enabling the number one candidate of the winning party in parliament to become president.

    Analysts expect an easy victory for dos Santos' Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), which won more than 80 percent of the vote in the last legislative election four years ago.

    Critics, however, have accused dos Santos of repression and corruption as the leader of sub-Saharan Africa's second biggest oil producer and third biggest economy while millions continue to suffer in poverty.