Republic of Angola - Government
Eduardo dos Santos, of the ruling MPLA, is the President of Angola. The MPLA won a landslide victory in parliamentary elections held in September 2008, the first such polls to be held in the country for 16 years. long-awaited presidential elections were expected to be held in 2009, but were delayed, and in January 2010, parliament approved a new constitution abolishing direct elections for the president. Instead, the presidency will now automatically be filled by the top-ranking candidate of the party winning the parliamentary election.The MPLA won the 2012 election comfortably, guaranteeing My Dos Santos another five-year term in office. The new constitution also strengthens the presidency’s powers, prompted the main opposition Unita party to accuse the government of “destroying democracy” with the new basic law. In early 2011 a social media campaign calling for protests to end Mr Dos Santos’ 32-year rule gathered some momentum, but petered out amid what the Human Rights Watch international monitoring group called a “campaign of intimidation” against demonstrations.
In the first contested presidential election in 1992 Mr Dos Santos narrowly beat Unita leader Jonas Savimbi, who rejected the result and resumed guerrilla war. There was no second round of voting in the poll, although Mr Dos Santos was recognised internationally as Angola’s president. Born in 1942, Mr Dos Santos joined the MPLA’s guerrilla army at the age of 19. In the former Soviet Union he trained in oil engineering and radar technology. He held ministerial posts before becoming president.