Angola: Lourenço appointed leader of ruling MPLA party

João Lourenço, President of Angola. Photo: Twitter/ João Lourenço

Casablanca, Morocco (ADV) – Angolan President João Lourenço on Saturday took the helm of the ruling MPLA party, winning unopposed leadership that marks the end of Jose Eduardo dos Santos’ almost 40-year dominance of Angolan politics.

Although Lourenço replaced dos Santos as president last September, the latter remained head of the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola, a power split that some believe has slowed Lourenço’s reform agenda in a country where the separation between party and state has long been blurred.

Lourenço, who received 98.59 percent of the vote, vowed in his closing speech that members of the party would not be immune in his drive to stamp out graft.

“In this crusade (against corruption), the MPLA should take the lead, occupy the first trench, and be at the vanguard, even if the first to fall are party members or other leaders of the party,” he said to loud applause.

In his final speech as party president, dos Santos said he was leaving with his head held high, but admitted mistakes had been made.

© Bur-csa – N.W – African Daily Voice (ADV)