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Assembleia nacional (National Assembly)

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Parliament name (generic / translated) Assembleia nacional / National Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) (from/to)5 September 2008
6 September 2008
Purpose of elections Elections were held for all seats in the National Assembly. General elections had previously taken place in September 1992.
On 4 June 2008 President José Eduardo dos Santos called parliamentary elections for 5 September 16 years after the previous elections were held in September 1992. Elections had been postponed repeatedly as a result of the civil war that had engulfed the country following its independence from Portugal in 1975.

In the 1992 elections President dos Santos' Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola - Workers' Party (MPLA) won 129 of the 220 seats contested in the 223-member National Assembly. Mr. dos Santos who has been in power since 1978 was re-elected as President at the same time. The National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) led by Mr. Jonas Savimbi took 70 seats. The remainder went to small parties. The three seats reserved for Angolans living abroad were not filled.

The 1992 elections followed a peace accord signed between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi in May 1991. However following its election defeat the UNITA resumed the civil war which would claim some 500 000 lives in total. The civil war ended in 2002 when the army killed UNITA leader Savimbi.

The country has experienced double-digit economic growth over the past six years. That figure reached 20 per cent in 2008 buoyed by the oil and diamond industries. However nearly 70 per cent of Angolans live on less than US$ 2 a day and many lack access to clean water or electricity.

A total of 5 198 candidates from 10 political parties and four coalitions contested the 2008 elections which were considered as a dry-run for presidential elections scheduled for 2009.

The MPLA was widely expected to win a majority in the new legislature. Its manifesto focused on sustained economic growth and social programmes. It pledged to build 2 000 new homes per year. President dos Santos urged Angolans to hold "democratic free and transparent elections ".

The MPLA's main rival the UNITA was now led by Mr. Isaias Samakuva. It campaigned mainly in rural areas promising to govern in the interest of all Angolans. It criticized the MPLA for the slow pace of reconstruction and widespread poverty. It further accused the MPLA of intimidating UNITA supporters and dominating the State media.

The Liberal Democratic Party (which had won three seats in 1992) led by Ms. Analia Victoria Pereira criticized the MPLA's use of military airplanes helicopters and boats during the election campaign to which other parties did not have access. Campaigning by other parties was limited to small gatherings around the capital Luanda.

Fraud-proof voter cards with holograms pictures and fingerprints were used for the first time. Due to delays in opening polling stations and ballot shortages in Luanda voting originally set for 5 September alone was extended by one day. 87.36 per cent of the 8.3 million registered voters turned out at the polls.

The European Union (EU) which sent about 100 observers praised the high turnout as evidence of Angolans' commitment to the country's democratic process. However it criticized biased media coverage in favour of the government for falling short of basic international standards. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) declared that the polls to have been credible peaceful and transparent.

The final results gave 191 seats to the MPLA and 16 to the UNITA. The latter originally challenged the results in Luanda but conceded defeat after the election commission rejected its claim for lack of evidence. The remaining seats went to small parties. UNITA leader Samakuva praised the elections as an important step for the consolidation of the country's fragile democracy.

The newly elected National Assembly held its first session on 30 September 2008. It elected outgoing prime minister Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos (MPLA) as its new Speaker.

The following day President dos Santos appointed Mr. António Paulo Kassoma (MPLA) as the new Prime Minister. On 3 October Mr. Kassoma's cabinet was sworn in by the President.
Voter turnout
Round no 1 (from/to)5 September 2008
6 September 2008
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
7'213'281 (87.36%)
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) 81.64
National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) 10.39
Social Renewal Party (PRS) 3.17
Angolan National Liberation Front (FNLA) 1.11
New Democracy Coalition (ND) 1.20
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total Number of women
Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) 191 77
National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) 16 4
Social Renewal Party (PRS) 8 0
Angolan National Liberation Front (FNLA) 3 0
New Democracy Coalition (ND) 2 0
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
- http://www.cne.ao
- National Assembly (02.10.2008 01.01.2010 20.12.2011)

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