Angola’s ruling MPLA party has swept the general elections with 71.8 per cent of the vote, ensuring that President Jose Eduardo dos Santos will remain in the post he has held since 1979.

Official results released by the National Election Commission late Friday showed the main opposition party, UNITA, received 18.6 per cent of ballots, fairing better than in 2008 polls when it received only about 10 per cent.

The People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) will have 175 seats in parliament, while UNITA will have 32. Three smaller parties will share the remaining 13 seats.

The domination by the 70-year-old dos Santos and his party was expected. He will be sworn in for a five-year term within 15 days, election commission officials said.

These were only the third elections for the southern African nation of 19 million people since independence from Portugal in 1975.

The vote in 1992 sparked a second wave of Angola’s lengthy civil war, which began just before the colonial power left, and ended in 2002.

Angola is experiencing a massive economic boom, owing to revenue from oil. However, observers have warned that while a small elite is prospering, the majority of the country remains mired in abject poverty.

Most young people are out of work and infrastructure development outside the capital is very limited.

More In: International | News