See also:
» 09.02.2010 - Angola elects speaker
» 03.02.2010 - Angola’s new cabinet is sworn-in
» 21.01.2010 - Angola parliament stamps new constitution
» 14.01.2010 - Angola to endorse new constitution
» 11.03.2009 - UNITA accuses president of delaying polls for selfish benefit
» 23.02.2009 - Reform electoral commission – HRW
» 02.10.2008 - Angola unveils new cabinet
» 17.09.2008 - MPLA wins Angola's elections

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MPLA officials dismiss intimidation claims

afrol News, 21 August - Angola's ruling party have officials have dismissed reports by human rights groups as unfounded, in saying the country's electoral campaign does not guarantee a free and fair poll on 05 September this year.

Joao Lourenzo, assistant coordinator of ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA)'s campaign, yesterday said that electoral campaign in the southern African state is running accordingly, as per president Eduardo dos Santos' appeal.

"We think that on-going campaign is going very well, better than one held in 1992, as we still remember environment and tension we endured at that time," said Mr Lourenzo, before leaving for south western Namibe province today at Luanda's 4 de Fevereiro International Airport, to attend a political event.

Human Rights Watch had stated in its report that holding of a free and fair election at September legislative polls was under threat because of intimidation of opposition as well as alleged meddling with the country's electoral commission.

The group's director noted that, "less than a month before elections, it is clear Angolans aren't able to campaign free from threats or pressure. And unless things change now, Angolans won't be able to cast their votes freely."

Reports had also come out alleging that Angolan police had detained 13 people, campaigning for main UNITA opposition party outside Luanda about a week ago, accused of holding a rally without authority.

However, according to party's Politburo member, current campaign is different from others and will be held amicably and in loyalty to the president's call.

President dos Santos has appealed to all citizens, political parties and coalitions to keep act responsibly during electoral campaign and elections, adhering to law and order.

Angola has been recovering from years of civil war and wants to set an example to other states within the continent, following disputed polls in Kenya and Zimbabwe. The 5 September polls will be first national vote in 16 years.

Ten parties together with four coalitions have been on campaign roll since 5 August. More than 5,000 candidates will contest 220 parliamentary seats.

Legislative vote will be followed by a presidential election next year.

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