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Angola’s Jose Eduardo dos Santos who has been in power since 1979 to step down this year



Jose Eduardo Dos Santos 

Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos confirmed on Friday he will not run in this year’s presidential election, calling an end to almost 38 years as head of state.

He said that he will retain control of the powerful ruling party.

Dos Santos, aged 74, said in March 2016 he would not run in elections due in August but opponents remained suspicious given he had reneged on similar pledges during the nearly four decades he had spent running the country.

Defence Minister Joao Lourenco will be the presidential candidate for the ruling People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), dos Santos said ahead of a party meeting where candidates for the vote will be confirmed.

Dos Santos, will remain president of the MPLA, retaining sweeping powers that include choosing parliamentary candidates and appointing top posts in the army and police.

His inscrutable public demeanour belies his tight control of Angola, a former Portuguese colony where he has overseen an oil-backed economic boom and the reconstruction of infrastructure devastated by a 27-year civil war that ended in 2002.

The MPLA won parliamentary majorities in the three elections since the end of the war. Lourenco, deputy president of the MPLA, is viewed as a dos Santos ally.

Angola, an OPEC member and Africa’s second biggest oil exporter, has been hit hard by the slump in global crude prices in the last two years. Oil export revenues account for more than 90 percent of foreign exchange revenues.

Despite its oil wealth, most people live in poverty and critics accuse dos Santos of enriching himself and his associates, including his billionaire daughter, Isabel, named by Forbes as Africa’s richest woman.

Isabel was appointed by her father as head of the state’s oil company Sonangol last year and his son, Jose Filomeno is chairman of Angola’s sovereign wealth fund.

Photo Credit: Liewig Christian/Corbis/Getty Images


  1. Sweetness

    February 3, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    Most of these African leaders are all the same..

  2. Jade

    February 3, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    Stay in power to control the wealth of the entire country. His daughter is celebrated as one of the richest African women. Africa is cursed.

  3. Ec

    February 3, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    This same guy that handed oil companies to his daughter nonsense

  4. Busybody

    February 3, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    O Africa arise! fight corruption before it becomes a cankerworm in our bones. All long serving presidents must go… #youthsfightforafrica.

  5. Leke

    February 3, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    Deinde Fernandez was his main man

  6. Mannie

    February 3, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    I guess now that Jammeh has given them the manual on how to step down with no criminal convictions, they are all willing to let go. smh!

  7. funmilola

    February 3, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    holding onto leadership as if it’s your inheritance… all old leaders must go!

  8. Joke

    February 3, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    Africa is still backwards and then we wonder why we are looked down upon by the Western World. We never see… Oniranu Forbes too, celebrating his daughter knowing fully well her money is from ill gotten gain… Then we wonder why others won’t follow suit. Till all African leaders form an alliance where absolutely no African leader can stay past his/her term, we will continue to remain backward and treated badly in the Western World…

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