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Last Updated: Friday, 28 December 2007, 14:12 GMT
Angolan leader sets election date
President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos (file image)
President dos Santos has been in power since 1979
Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos says parliamentary elections will take place on 5 and 6 September: the first elections since 1992.

Elections have been expected and repeatedly delayed since 2002, when the government ended a 27-year conflict with the Unita rebel movement.

This is the first time Angola has given a precise date for new elections.

The ruling MPLA narrowly won the 1992 polls, part of a peace plan, but war resumed as Unita rejected the results.

"The Angolan people's will must be expressed truthfully and without limitations on 5 and 6 September 2008, during the legislative election that will be convened," President dos Santos said in regular end-of-year address to the nation.

Presidential polls are expected to follow a year later.

A large-scale voter registration campaign ended earlier this year.

The government says nearly 8 million Angolans will be eligible to vote.

Sub-Saharan Africa's second largest oil producer after Nigeria, Angola has one of the worst infant mortality rates in Africa and millions of its citizens continue to live in shantytowns and slums.

Mr dos Santos came to power in 1979 when he was only 37 years old in the wake of the unexpected death from medical complications of Angola's first President, Dr Agostinho Neto.

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