(Reuters) - Angola’s ruling MPLA headed on Sunday for a landslide victory in a parliamentary election which opposition parties have branded illegitimate, preliminary results showed.
Angola held its first national vote for 16 years on September 5 as the oil-producing former Portuguese colony recovered from a 27-year civil war that ended in 2002.
Following is a chronology on Angola:
1975 - The last Portuguese forces withdraw, leaving the Soviet and Cuban backed Marxist Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) in control of Luanda.
1976 - The MPLA crushes the rival FNLA (National Liberation Front of Angola) and drives back the South African supported UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola).
1979 - MPLA leader Agostinho Neto dies, replaced by Soviet-trained Jose Eduardo dos Santos.
1987 - South African force enters southeast Angola to thwart MPLA and Cuban offensive against Jonas Savimbi’s UNITA. They withdrew the next year.
1989 - Dos Santos and Savimbi agree on a ceasefire, but it collapses within two months.
1991 - Dos Santos, Savimbi sign peace accord in Lisbon.
1992 - United Nations monitors multiparty polls for president and national assembly. UNITA accuses government of fraud after MPLA wins both votes. Fighting flares again.
1994 - Government and UNITA sign Lusaka Protocol peace accord in Zambia.
March 1998 - UNITA declares its effective demobilization. Angola legalizes the rebel movement.
December 1998 - Luanda launches offensive against UNITA -- thousands killed in next four years of fighting.
2002 - Savimbi is killed in battle in February and a formal ceasefire is signed in April.
April 2006 - Angola and UNITA rebels sign a truce to end one of Africa’s longest wars.
2008 - Angola’s rapidly expanding oil output puts it neck and neck with Nigeria’s as the biggest producer on the continent.
September 5 - Legislative election. A presidential election is expected to take place in 2009.
September 7 - Preliminary election results show the ruling MPLA wins almost 82 percent of the vote nationally.
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Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit