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Cablegate: Angola: Yet Another Step Closer to Elections

VZCZCXRO9624
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHLU #1274 3601911
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 261911Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY LUANDA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4508
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

UNCLAS LUANDA 001274

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM AO
SUBJECT: ANGOLA: YET ANOTHER STEP CLOSER TO ELECTIONS

REF: LUANDA 01269

1. (U) On December 21, 2007 the Inter-ministerial Commission
for the Electoral Process (CIPE) delivered the voter
registration books to the National Electoral Commission
(CNE), marking a major step towards the realization of
Angola's first post-war elections beating its own December
31st deadline for doing so. In statements to the press, CNE
President Caetano de Sousa promised the CNE would quickly
certify the books, and for the first time publicly confirmed
that the CNE will most likely propose September 2008 as the
target for legislative elections. By law the CNE must report
its certification of the registration books and its
recommendation on the electoral calendar before President dos
Santos can call elections. De Sousa did not estimate when
the CNE would make its recommendation to President dos
Santos.

2. (U) The CIPE and the CNE are also undertaking other needed
tasks. Acting CIPE Coordinator Edeltrudes Costa noted that
CIPE is prepping for a supplemental registration process
between April and May 2008. Meanwhile, the CNE continues its
strategic planning sessions, focusing on the logistical
planning necessary to hold elections in 2008 (reftel).

3. (U) According to Costa, the 10,365 registration books list
the 8,091,103 Angolans who registered during the registration
process that lasted from November 15th, 2006 to September 15,
2007. Costa noted, however, that the total number of
registered voters was subject to change, as over 2,000 cases
of duplicate registration were found and over 41,000
adjustment claims were made during the registration review
period. These cases remain under review.

4. (U) COMMENT: With the CIPE's "on-time" delivery of
registration data and the CNE's public targeting of a
September timeframe for elections, legislative elections are
solidly on track for 2008. Nonetheless, questions remain
about the CNE's preparedness (or, rather, lack of
preparedness) for the huge logistical challenges of
conducting their elections successfully. USG-funded
assistance from IFES would be crucial in meeting the
challenge. END COMMENT.
MOZENA

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