LUANDA, Sept 10 (Reuters) - The ruling MPLA party has won a
landslide victory in Angola's parliamentary election with almost
82 percent of the vote, according to provisional final results
released on Wednesday.
The MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola),
which has governed the oil-rich African nation since
independence from Portugal more than 30 years ago, crushed the
opposition nationally and in all of Angola's 18 provinces.
UNITA, a former rebel group which is now the largest
opposition party, won just over 10 percent, election officials
told a news conference. UNITA conceded defeat on Monday,
dropping a bid to contest what it described as a flawed poll.
Delays in opening polling stations and missing voter
registration lists led to an unscheduled second day of voting.
International observers have expressed general satisfaction
with the conduct of the poll and said they hoped it would lead
to the blossoming of a full democracy after a lengthy period of
virtual one-party rule.
An observer mission from the U.S. embassy said on Tuesday
the poll was generally peaceful and that no acts of intimidation
had been detected by monitors in five of the 18 provinces.
"We congratulate the people of Angola on their participation
in this important step in strengthening their democracy," the
mission said in a statement read by U.S. ambassador Dan Mozena
in the capital Luanda.
But the mission said the MPLA had enjoyed an advantage over
the opposition through its access to state control of major
The U.S. statement followed a European Union observer team's
verdict that Angolans had been able to vote freely. African
observer missions also described the poll as legitimate.