Having been in power since 1979, Angolan President Dos Santos is one of Africa’s longest-ruling leaders.
He recently announced that he plans to step down in 2018. His statement left many wondering about the country’s future and next leader.
In an interview conducted by Reuters in Luanda, the capital of Angola, many were surprised by Santo’s decision to step down before the next general elections.
“He should leave power before the elections. This is what I think.”
“He always says this but after that, it will not happen.”
“People are already tired of having the same governance for 40 years; we have several opposition parties and many individuals who are able to govern. What we want is to diversify not only the economy but also the governance of the country,” said Osvaldo Azevedo, another resident.
Sources claim that Santos is grooming his son, Jose Filomeno de Sousa dos Santos, to succeed him.
Luis Jimbo, the executive director of the Angolan Institute for electoral systems and democracy (IASED), said that a new leader will still be working under direct orders from Dos Santos.
“The succession can drag with it the transition, let’s imagine the future leader of the MPLA in 2018, and we’ll imagine also that the MPLA are able or has favourable results to win the elections and this leader imposes deep reforms in terms of values and form of how the party-political organization should boost the social transformation on issues of corruption and ethical values. It is possible to say yes, a succession drags a transition for radical reforms of the political system.”
Dos Santos was accused of mismanaging Angola’s oil wealth and making an elite, mainly his family and political allies, vastly rich while millions struggle with poverty.