Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos will confirm Saturday the end of his controversial reign of thirty-seven years and enthrone his likely successor, AFP reports.
74-year-old dos Santos will make the announcement confirming he will not seek a new term in the 2017 general elections as his party, the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) marks its 60th anniversary on Saturday.
Defence Minister Joao Lourenco is expected to take over as the next MPLA leader.
The Angolan Constitution does not provide for a presidential election, but specifies that the post of head of state belongs to the leader of the party that wins the legislative elections.
Dos Santos became president in 1979, making him Africa’s second-longest serving leader — one month short of Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang Nguema.
His reign has seen the end of civil war and an investment boom, but has also been criticised as secretive and corrupt with Angola’s citizens suffering grim poverty as his family became hugely wealthy.
The end of Dos Santos’s regime will shake up Angola, where he has been a looming presence in daily life longer than most people can remember, exercising almost total authority over government, politics, media and business.
He was sworn in 1979 following the sudden death of Angola’s liberation president Agostinho Neto.