Angola girds for political transition

Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos waves to supporters
Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has pledged to leave “active political life” in 2018. He has served as head of state for 37 years (source: dpa)
  • Angolan President dos Santos will likely make good on his pledge to retire in 2018
  • He wants to be remembered fondly and to preserve his children’s privileges
  • His potential successors are well-placed to ensure those goals are met

In late August, the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), the country’s ruling party, held a congress to set strategy and select new leaders. About 2,600 delegates met for three days. They elected 361 members to the party’s central committee, which then chose a new political bureau – the party’s main collective decision-making body.

The meeting was significant because it comes at a time that both supporters and opponents acknowledge as a “transition period” for the party and the nation. The decisions made there will have a huge impact on the future of this critical country in Africa’s southwest.

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