Angola: Free press for poll urged

2012-08-01 20:19
Jose Eduardo dos Santos (AFP)

Jose Eduardo dos Santos (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Lisbon - Angola's ruling MPLA is using state media to its own advantage and restricting freedom of expression in the campaign for a general election on 31 August, the main opposition party and a global rights group said on Wednesday.

Campaigning started on Tuesday with the head of the elections body urging media outlets to give equal treatment to the nine parties running in what will be only Angola's second election since the end of a 27-year civil war a decade ago.

President Jose Eduardo dos Santos - in power for 32 years in Africa's top oil producer after Nigeria - is expected to lead the MPLA to victory in the vote for lawmakers and a president.

Dos Santos' supporters cite his role in unifying the nation after the end of the war and then overseeing rapid growth, while opponents say he suppresses dissent.

"We have attacks on press freedom and the abusive use of state media organs," Isaias Samakuva, leader of the main opposition party Unita, told journalists on Wednesday.

"[State-owned] Angolan Public Television and Angolan National Radio have arbitrarily decided to use public newscasts to promote the bid of the ruling party," he added.

Denial

The government runs official state TV, radio and newspapers, but denies accusations it uses them to give an uncritical portrayal of its policies and leaders.

The MPLA won the civil war against Unita and crushed its rivals in a 2008 election by obtaining 82% of the vote.

Rights watchdogs have long accused Dos Santos' government of avoiding public scrutiny and suppressing press freedom.

New-York based Human Rights Watch said in a report published on Wednesday that "ruling party bias and restrictions on the media" were among key concerns it had identified in the election in 2008 and these had still not been addressed.

It also urged the government to stop using "excessive force, arbitrary arrests and unfair trials" to clamp down on a youth movement that has staged several protest rallies calling for Dos Santos to quit and on demonstrations by war veterans claiming unpaid pensions.

The government has denied using force to stifle dissent, and Dos Santos has called on young Angolans to put their faith in his policies, which he says will create jobs and social justice.

"I know the young are in a hurry and I understand them. In my youth I was also in a rush to change the country," Dos Santos said at a rally to launch the MPLA's campaign on Tuesday.

"Our goal is to offer more opportunities for personal and professional growth for all, especially the young."

Read more on:    jose eduardo dos santos  |  angola  |  southern africa
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

3 sports games you have to watch this weekend

Whether it’s date night or a braai with buddies, plan around these three exciting sporting games!

 
 

Men24.com

How to maintain your mo, bro
Hottie of the day: Colette
Pro-skater Tony Hawk rides a hoverboard!
10 ways to drive her wild!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong desire to be unique, self sufficient, right and in control today. Your mind is fast today and you may have the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.