Angola’s ruling Popular Liberation Movement (MPLA) party has began a four-day congress which is expected to re-elect President Jose Eduardo dos Santos as its head in the run up to the 2017 presidential election.
The conference opened Wednesday morning in the Angolan capital Luanda, in the presence of Mr. Dos Santos, whose has been in power since 1979.
The outcome of the vote, to be held on Friday or Saturday, is no doubt, with Jose Eduardo dos Santos the only candidate to head the party.
Nobody competes with Dos Santos in the MPLA. This congress is nothing new.
“Nobody competes with Dos Santos in the MPLA. This congress is nothing new,” said political analyst Justinho Pinto de Andrade.
“It is characteristic of dictatorships when the president is there since 1979 as a candidate for his own succession. It’s a shame he does it alone,” Agostinho dos Santos, a political analyst told AFP.
President dos Santos said in March he would leave politics in 2018, a year after his likely reelection.
Analysts say dos Santos will use the opportunity to reaffirm his control over the party, by strengthening loyalists in both the central committee and politburo but also by appointing a younger generation of leaders who will be expected to support his chosen successor.
The appointees are also likely to be allies of his children, Isabel and Zenu dos Santos, both major players in Angolan succession scenarios. Isabel and Zenu are both likely to be appointed to the MPLA’s central committee, which will increase their influence in the party.
The MPLA took power in 1975 when Angola gained independence from Portugal, led by Agostinho Neto who was then replaced by the man nicknamed “Zedu” still in power today.