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Angola: President delivers State of the Nation address amid political tension

Angolan President Joao Lourenco delivers the State of the Nation address in Luanda on October 16, 2023.   -  
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Parliamentary year began Monday (Oct. 16) in Angola with a message on the state of the Nation by the head of state.

João Lourenço’s address came after an extraordinary parliamentary session convened to consider a proposal of the main opposition group to impeach him.

The president seemingly rebutted a request by the president of the UNITA opposition party to take the floor.

"Any citizen who wanted to make a speech on the state of the nation would be illegitimately exercising the powers that the constitution gives exclusively to the Head of State," João Lourenço said.

Lourenço dealt mainly with economic issues and the state of Angola’s public finances in the first part of his speech. He also highlighted the progress delivered by his administration.

The speech drew shouts from the opposition and applause from lawmakers of the ruling party MPLA.

"It was a speech that reflected the state of the nation as we are, the President's speech made a passage to all sectors, highlighting the investments that are being made, those that will be inaugurated by 2024 and those that are being implemented," Joana Tómas, a MPLA MP said.

Angola’s President stressed that he would continue with the process of withdrawing fuel subsidies and acknowledged the possibility of reducing the VAT on some products.

Measures that failed to convince the opposition.

"It's a record that I can consider to be negative. That is to say that after the elections that took place last year, it would have been very pleasant to have a country at a political, economic and even at the social level that was different."

João Lourenço anticipates a “slowdown in economic activity,” which will be offset by expected growth in the non-oil sector.

Angola's National Assembly is made up of 220 deputies, with the ruling MPLA party, holding the absolute majority.

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