JOHANNESBURG — The Latest on Angola’s election (all times local):

6:35 p.m.

Polls are now closed in Angola, where voters have been choosing the southern African country’s first new president in almost four decades. Angola’s election commission has called the vote peaceful.

President Jose Eduardo dos Santos will step down after 38 years in power in an oil-rich country beset by widespread poverty and corruption.

About 9.3 million Angolans were registered to vote for the 220-member National Assembly. The winning party will then select the president.

Dos Santos’ chosen successor is Joao Lourenco, the defense minister.


9:30 a.m.

Angolans are voting in an election in which the defense minister is the front-runner to succeed President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who will relinquish the post after 38 years in power.

About 9.3 million Angolans are registered to vote on Wednesday for the 220-member National Assembly; the winning party will then select the president. Dos Santos’ chosen successor is Joao Lourenco, the defense minister and a former governor.

The ruling MPLA party won the 2012 election with 72 percent of votes amid allegations of irregularities. The UNITA party, a former rebel force that fought the MPLA in Angola’s civil war, is the main opposition challenger.

Oil-rich Angola is beset by poverty, corruption and human rights concerns, though some analysts believe new leadership could open the way to more accountability.