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Angola: Activist calls for president's daughter to step down as oil firm chief

Angola: Activist calls for president's daughter to step down as oil firm chief


An Angolan activist is calling for the removal from office of president Eduardo Dos Santos’ daughter, Isabel Dos Santos, who is the head of the state energy firm, Sonangol.

Marques also accuses president Dos Santos – who has been in power since 1979, of corruption and sharing out state contracts to his family members.

“With matters of national strategic resources, the president cannot change as he pleases, the rules. He must seek a request from parliament and he didn’t do that, therefore the reforms of Sonangol approved by the president are unconstitutional,” Marques told Reuters after filing three requests with the Attorney General Office.

Dos Santos appointed her billionaire daughter and businessman in June by presidential decree in a shake-up that was geared at turning around the struggling company after low crude prices hit revenue.

Oil sales account for 95 percent of Angola’s foreign exchange earnings, making Sonangol the biggest source of state funding.

On June 9, a group of lawyers led by David Mendes and Luis Nascimento challenged the manner of Isabela Dos Santos’ appointment, saying it went against public probity laws. The lawyers also presented their concerns to the Supreme Court.

Angola’s main opposition party, the Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) has requested that parliament open an inquiry into the business of Sonangol.

Marques said he was giving the Attorney General two weeks to act on his requests relating to Sonangol and other cases of alleged corruption.

“Within 15 days I will return to the office of the Attorney General to seek answers, not only for these three early lodgings but also for others that I have lodged last year, earlier this year and for which I have not received any response yet. And then, when we exhaust these legal remedies as I am saying now, rightfully, we can start seeking ways of arresting the president for constantly impeding the society to live by the rule of law, for obstructing justice,” he said.

In March Dos Santos had announced his intentions to step down in 2018. His regime has however overseen an oil-backed economic boom in the former Portuguese colony, and reconstruction of infrastructure devastated by a 27-year-long civil war that ended in 2002.

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