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Sep 13, 3:02 PM EDT

Angola constitutional court validates last month's election


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Angola constitutional court validates last month's election

JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- Angola's constitutional court has validated last month's election, calling it free and transparent.

The announcement on Wednesday dismisses the challenges filed by a number of opposition groups that had alleged irregularities in the Aug. 23 vote, the Portuguese news agency Lusa reports.

The court says it found no irregularities.

Angola's election commission has said the ruling MPLA party won the national election but lost ground to the opposition in the oil-rich but impoverished southern African nation. The MPLA won with 61 percent of the vote, while leading opposition party UNITA had 26 percent.

Defense Minister Joao Lourenco is now set to replace President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who has ruled for 38 years and is expected to remain head of the ruling party.

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