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Luanda, Angola - Angola's ruling party, headed by President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, has won nearly three quarters of the vote in the national election, according to partial results updated Sunday by the electoral commission.
The commission said dos Santos' People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) had 74.1 per cent of the tally, with state media already dubbing the 70 year-old as president-elect.
“A deserved victory,” ran the headline of government mouthpiece Jornal de Angola on Sunday, beneath a photo of dos Santos clasping his hands together while his smiling wife Ana Paula looked on, dressed in an animal print shirt.
The results still have to be confirmed by the electoral commission once all districts have been tallied. By early Sunday the commission said 74.2 percent of votes had been counted in the oil-rich nation, which dos Santos has ruled for 33 years.
The opposition UNITA party has so far scooped 17.94 per cent of the vote, already winning more seats in the national assembly than in the last poll in 2008. UNITA spokesman Alcides Sakala has said his party will accept the outcome of the election.
The vote is at once a general and legislative election, with the leader of the largest party winning the role of president. 220
seats are up for grabs in the country's national assembly.
The authorities said voting on Friday was carried out peacefully.
These are only the third elections in Angola since its independence from Portugal in 1975. The last poll was in 2008. The one before that took place in 1992, and the disputed result sparked a second phase of the southern African nation's lengthy civil war.
This is the first time that the significant Angolan diaspora in Portugal has not been allowed to cast votes.
Angola is experiencing a massive economic boom, owing to revenue from oil. However, observers have warned that while a small elite is prospering, the majority of the country remains mired in abject poverty.
Most young people are out of work and infrastructure development outside the capital is very limited.
Dos Santos is Africa's second-longest serving head of state, though he was never formally elected for most of his reign. - Sapa-dpa