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Angolan parliament selects electoral watchdog chairman

[JURIST] Angolan Supreme Court Justice Caetano de Sousa has been elected by the Angolan Parliament [official website in Portuguese] to serve as the head of the National Electoral Commission (CNE) tasked with supervising preparations for elections scheduled for the first half of 2006. Angola [government website] has been in a constant state of civil war for the past 30 years and both the government and the main opposition party, UNITA, view national elections as vital for maintaining a fragile peace. Concerns still exist that the elections may be delayed due to a request by Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos [official profile] that the Supreme Court review the new election laws [JURIST report] to ensure they comply with the Angolan Constitution [official text]. UNITA, while generally satisfied with de Sousa's experience, warned that he must be extra vigilant against bias, since he was nominated for the CNE post by dos Santos. Angola Press has local coverage.

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