- International Human Rights body has urged the Angolan government to address the failures in the 2008 parliamentary elections and reform of the eletoral commission to avert repeated mistakes.
According to Human Rights Watch 45 page report, the Angolan government needs to reform the electoral commission to ensure credible and independent oversight of all future elections.
The report said the 2008 parliamentary elections had logistical and procedural flaws during voting, counting and tabulation, stating that the electoral commission has announced a commission of inquiry into the election flaws.
"The government needs to reform the electoral commission to ensure credible and independent oversight of all future elections," said Georgette Gagnon, Africa director at Human Rights Watch, urging Angola to carry out inquiry and should publish results.
The HRW report has also accused the ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) of endorsing repressive laws hampering media freedom, which among others allows criminal prosecution for defamation.
"The government should urgently pass all the pending legislation to make the new press law effective and decriminalize defamation, which would bring Angola closer to compliance with international standards," said the Africa director.
"Uncertainty over whether presidential elections will take place in 2009 is not an excuse for letting the problems highlighted by last year's elections go unremedied," she said, adding, "The government needs to assure that all future elections meet regional and international standards."
Angola held the first elections in 16 years with the ruling MPLA which has ruled the oil-rich country since independence from Portugal in 1975, winning nearly 82 percent of the vote in the poll against UNITA that won 10.2 percent.
Angola is expected to hold a presidential election in 2009. President José Eduardo dos Santos, in power for 30 years, recently said the long-delayed poll will take place only after Parliament votes on a new Constitution.
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