Angola's ex-leader Eduardo dos Santos to quit as ruling party boss

2018-03-17 10:12
Jose Eduardo dos Santos (AFP)

Jose Eduardo dos Santos (AFP)

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

Luanda - Former Angolan leader Jose Eduardo dos Santos said on Friday he will quit as head of the governing party by 2019 after the ruling MPLA denied tensions with his successor, President Joao Lourenco.

Dos Santos ceded the presidency to his former defence minister Lourenco following the ruling MPLA's victory in August elections but held on to the party's top job.

The 75-year-old veteran leader who ruled for nearly four decades is battling ill health and said that he would retire from politics entirely by April 2019 at the latest.

"I cautiously recommend that the extraordinary congress elects a new party leader in December 2018 or April 2019," he said as he opened a meeting of the MPLA's central committee.

His intervention came as Luanda seeks to play down speculation of a rift between Dos Santos and Lourenco which has shaken the MPLA leadership.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news from around the continent by subscribing to our FREE newsletter, Hello Africa.

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook.

Since taking power Lourenco has waged a crusade against corruption and targeted many appointees of his predecessor who had held powerful roles in state businesses and institutions.

Dos Santos ruled Angola with an iron fist for 38 years during which time the country's rich and powerful profited from the country's vast oil reserves at the expense of the poor.

His appointment of daughter Isabel to run state oil giant Sonangol was seen as a symbol of the nepotism that characterised Dos Santos' authoritarian rule.

Prosecutors have since opened an investigation into possible graft at Sonangol under Isabel's leadership which Lourenco terminated in November.

The MPLA said in a statement this week that rumours of a split between Lourenco and Dos Santos were "a wave of speculation" spread in "bad faith".

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

Inside News24

Lockdown For
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.