Dos Santos leaves after 38 years at helm

Angola President Jose Eduardo dos Santos

Angola President Jose Eduardo dos Santos

From ANTONIO PEDRO in Luanda, Angola
LUANDA, (CAJ News) – LONG-TIME Angolan president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, will step down in August after 38 years in power but will retain influence in the southern African country.
He will not seek re-election in the country’s forthcoming general elections he has ever participated in since succeeding Agostinho Neto.
Dos Santos (74), Africa’s second longest ruler after Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, will be replaced by his minister of defence Joao Lourenco.
He however will remain chairman of the ruling Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA).
“We shall see some changes, but change will always be very minimal in that he (dos Santos) remains at the centre of power in the country’s political landscape,” activist  Gilberto Campos said in Luanda.
Critics accuse dos Santos of abuse of power, corruption and cronyism during his tenure.
He appointed his daughter, Isabel, as head of the state oil company Sonangol while his son Jose Filomeno is chairman of Angola’s sovereign wealth fund.
“Remaining the ruling party’s chairman confirms African leaders are not willing to let go power. Also, his children hold key positions in key economic sectors. This is a fallacy,” human rights activist Afonso Sebastiao said.
Dos Santos, an engineer by profession, led Angola’s liberation war against Portuguese rule before emerging the country’s president.
The MPLA would later be engaged in bitter civil war with arch rival National Union for the Total Independence of Angola. The war raged at independence from 1975 to 2002. A majority of the southern African country’s 26 million live in poverty despite vast oil resources.


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Posted by on Feb 6 2017. Filed under Africa & World, Exclusive, Featured, National, News, Regional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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