Page last updated at 09:29 GMT, Wednesday, 4 June 2008 10:29 UK

Green light for Angolan elections

Jose Edwardo dos Santos
Jose Edwardo dos Santos has been president for 29 years

Election organisers in Angola have given the go-ahead for the first parliamentary polls since 1992.

President Jose Eduardo dos Santos said all preparations were in place for an election in September.

The vote will be seen a test of popularity for Mr dos Santos, who is expected to seek another term in office next year.

The elections were originally scheduled for 2006 but have been delayed on a number of occasions.

The BBC's Louise Redvers in Luanda says these will be only the second elections in Angola's history and will come 16 years after the last vote led to the resumption of civil war which claimed thousands of lives.

She says the ruling MPLA of Mr dos Santos is expected to retain its majority in the elections.

The civil war which devasted the country lasted 27 years and finally came to an end in 2002.

The Council of the Republic, a cross-party body chaired by the president, gave its approval to the ballot after being told that the voter registration process had been completed satisfactorily.

More than eight million people have registered to vote.

Chairman of the electoral commission Caetano de Sousa confirmed that his organisation was ready for the polls.

"All the conditions that can assure the legislative elections go ahead, are in place," he told reporters.

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