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Dos Santos unopposed for leadership of Angola's ruling party

Dos Santos unopposed for leadership of Angola's ruling party

Angola

President Jose Eduardo dos Santos of Angola is set to be retained as leader of the ruling MPLA. According to the party’s central committee, no member has filed to contest the president in the upcoming convention, state media reports.

The MPLA’s convention where its top leader is appointed will be held in August and the general elections are due in late 2017. The leader of the winning party will then become president.

MPLA presidency post takes responsibilities that demand strong leadership qualities … qualities recognized in the militant Jose Eduardo dos Santos,” said a supporting motion to Dos Santos’ candidacy by the MPLA Central Committee, that is preparing the August party convention.

MPLA presidency post takes responsibilities that demand strong leadership qualities ... qualities recognized in the militant Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

There had been speculation as to whether the 73-year old would contest for the party leadership after he announced earlier this year that he would step down in 2018.

The latest move however ends speculation that he might not make himself available in the lead up to stepping down in 2018. He has not given a reason for his decision to step down and is yet to name a preferred successor.

Dos Santos has ruled the oil-rich nation since 1979. Angola has been hit hard by the slump in global crude prices, which has ramped up pressure on its kwanza currency and ignited inflation.