Politics of Angola

Politics of Angola takes place in a framework of a presidential republic, whereby the President of Angola is both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and parliament. Angola changed from a one-party Marxist-Leninist system ruled by the MPLA to a formal multiparty democracy following the 1992 elections. President dos Santos won the first round election with more than 49% of the vote to Jonas Savimbi's 40%. A runoff never has taken place. The subsequent renewal of civil war and collapse of the Lusaka Protocol have left much of this process stillborn, but democratic forms exist, notably the National Assembly.

Currently, political power is concentrated in the Presidency. The executive branch of the government is composed of the President, the Prime Minister (currently Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos) and Council of Ministers. The Council of Ministers, composed of all government ministers and vice ministers, meets regularly to discuss policy issues. Governors of the 18 provinces are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the president. The Constitutional Law of 1992 establishes the broad outlines of government structure and delineates the rights and duties of citizens. The legal system is based on Portuguese and customary law but is weak and fragmented. Courts operate in only 12 of more than 140 municipalities. A Supreme Court serves as the appellate tribunal; a Constitutional Court with powers of judicial review has never been constituted despite statutory authorization.

The 26-year long civil war has ravaged the country's political and social institutions. The UN estimates of 1.8 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), while generally the accepted figure for war-affected people is 4 million. Daily conditions of life throughout the country and specifically Luanda (population approximately 4 million) mirror the collapse of administrative infrastructure as well as many social institutions. The ongoing grave economic situation largely prevents any government support for social institutions. Hospitals are without medicines or basic equipment, schools are without books, and public employees often lack the basic supplies for their day-to-day work.

Executive branch

Legislative branch

The National Assembly ("Assembleia Nacional") has 223 members, elected for a four year term, 130 members by proportional representation, 90 members in provincial districts, and 3 members to represent Angolans abroad. The next general elections, due for 1997, have been rescheduled for 5th September 2008.

Political parties and elections

The president has announced the government's intention to hold elections in 2009. These elections would be the first since 1992 and would serve to elect both a new president and a new National Assembly.

Judicial branch

Supreme Court or Tribunal da Relacao, judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the president

Administrative divisions

Angola has eighteen provinces (provincias, singular - provincia); Bengo, Benguela, Bie, Cabinda, Cuando Cubango, Cuanza Norte, Cuanza Sul, Cunene, Huambo, Huila, Luanda, Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul, Malanje, Moxico, Namibe, Uige, Zaire

Political pressure groups and leaders

Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda or FLEC [N'zita Henriques TIAGO; Antonio Bento BEMBE]
* "note:" FLEC is waging a small-scale, highly factionalized, armed struggle for the independence of Cabinda Province

International organization participation

ACP, AfDB, CEEAC, ECA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OAS (observer), OAU, SADC, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO


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