September 7, 2005

Seven million might vote in next elections, estimates minister

Angolan Territory Administration minister, Virgilio de Fontes Pereira, stated figures that suggest seven million Angolan citizens might vote in the forthcoming general elections, expected for 2006. "The programmes we have been working on indicate 14 million and a few more hundred thousands of Angolans as the general demographic universe of our population in 2006. Out of these, we will have a universe of seven million of inhabitants or citizens as potential voters", said the minister on the programme "Parlamento" of the Angolan Public Television (TPA).

According to him, these data are indicative and the reality might be a bit higher or lower, but they serve to give an approximate clue of the reality of potential voters for the coming elections. Fontes Pereira said great effort is being made towards the creation of conditions for the citizens to participate in the registration and voting in tranquillity. In his opinion, this tranquil participation will also be one of the fundamental conditions to give credibility to the democratic process, through the holding of legislative and presidential elections. Fontes Pereira stated that the voting stations will essentially be located near human agglomerates, in order to enable everyone to participate, namely in cities, compounds and villages. "Where there are citizens living, there will be a balloting-box or a voting station," said the official. He said as well that mobile voting-boxes might be used in remote areas where for example there are a few families living in.

According to him, a decision as to whether presidential and legislative elections should be held simultaneously was still to be made, but he assured the issue is taking the attention of the President of the Republic, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, at the audiences he has been granting to leaders of political parties. (Angola Press Agency, Luanda)

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