- President José Eduardo dos Santos of Angola has revealed that as soon as he gets the final report from the National Electoral Commission, he will announce the date of next year's legislative elections.
However, President dos Santos, who made the assurance at the opening of the XXVth session of the Council of the Republic in the capital Luanda, did not say anything about the presidential elections scheduled for 2009. During the session, a draft report and study on local elections will be presented to the Council.
He has also pledged the support of the armed forces to assist the commission in any way necessary.
President dos Santos expects the CNE to confirm the completion of the electoral registration in accordance with the laws and ensure that it is able to organize elections between May and September 2008.
"The government has met virtually its essential role in the electoral process," he was quoted by the 'Portuguese News Network' as saying. He said the onus is now on CNE to implement the remaining tasks.
The commission has a lot of hurdles on its way - definition of voting centres, printing of ballot papers and sensitisation - which are all lacking.
The Angolan leader described the transportation of ballot boxes, security and logistical support needed in the voting process as "a very large and complex operation," which is why through CNE, the government has gathered great experience so that the realization of the electoral registration became a success.
He said the electoral register will be updated by the electoral commission during the first quarter of next year. .
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