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World > Africa > Angola > Government and Political Conditions (Notes)

Angola - Government and Political Conditions (Notes)


GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS
Angola changed from a one-party Marxist-Leninist system ruled by the MPLA to a nominal multiparty democracy following the 1992 elections, in which President dos Santos won the first-round election with 49% of the vote to Jonas Savimbi's 40%; a runoff never took place. The Constitutional Law of 1992 establishes the broad outlines of government structure and delineates the rights and duties of citizens. The government is based on ordinances, decrees, and decisions issued by a president and his ministers or through legislation produced by the National Assembly and approved by the president. The parliament is generally subordinate to the executive.

Few opportunities exist for opposition parties to challenge MPLA dominance. President dos Santos, following a recommendation of the Council of the Republic, has said legislative elections are being planned for 2008, with presidential elections to follow in 2009. A multi-party constitutional reform process will resume following elections.

Angola is governed by a president who is assisted by a prime minister and 31 cabinet ministers, all appointed by the president. Political power is concentrated in the presidency. The executive branch of the government is composed of the president (head of state and government), the prime minister, and the Council of Ministers. The Council of Ministers, composed of all government ministers and vice ministers, meets regularly to discuss policy issues. The president, the Council of Ministers, and individual ministers in their areas of competence have the ability to legislate by decree.

Of the 220 deputies in the National Assembly, 130 are elected at large, and 5 are elected to represent each of the 18 provinces. The Electoral Law also calls for the election of three additional deputies to represent citizens living abroad; however, those positions were not filled in the 1992 elections. The ruling MPLA controls 59% of the seats.

The central government administers the country through 18 provinces. Governors of the provinces are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the president.

The legal system is based on Portuguese and customary law but is weak and fragmented. Courts operate in only a fraction of the 164 municipalities. A Supreme Court serves as the appellate tribunal; a Constitutional Court with powers of judicial review has never been constituted despite statutory authorization. Recently, the Supreme Court has acted as a Constitutional Court.

The 27-year-long civil war ravaged the country's political and social institutions. The government estimates that 4.7 million people were internally displaced by the civil war. In March 2007, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Angola jointly celebrated the end of a 5-year organized voluntary repatriation program that returned home more than 400,000 Angolan refugees. The Angolan Government estimates as many as 100,000 refugees remain outside Angola, and it is working to help those who wish to return. Daily conditions of life throughout the country mirror the inadequate administrative infrastructure as well as weak social institutions. Government support for social institutions is often inadequate. Many 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.

Principal Government Officials
President--Jose Eduardo dos Santos
Prime Minister--Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos 'Nando'
Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs--Aguinaldo Jaime
Minister of External Affairs--João Bernardo de Miranda
Minister of the Interior--Roberto Leal Monteiro Ngongo
Minister of Finance--José Pedro de Morais
Minister of Defense--Kundi Paihama
Minister of Petroleum--Desidério da Graça Veríssimo da Costa
Minister of Planning--Ana Dias Lourenço
Ambassador to the United States--Josefina Perpetua Pitra Diakite
Permanent Representative to the United Nations--Ismael Gaspar Martins

Angola maintains an embassy in the United States at 2100-2108 16th St., NW, Washington, DC 20009 (tel. 202-785-1156; fax 202-822-9049; web: www.angola.org). Angola also maintains consulates in New York City (attached to its Permanent Mission to the United Nations) at 866 UN Plaza, 48th St., Suite 552, New York, NY 10017 (tel. 212-233-3588, ext. 15; fax 212-980-9606; web: http://www2.un.int/public/Angola/) and in Houston at 3040 Post Oak Blvd., Suite 708, Houston, TX 77056 (tel. 713-212-3840; fax 713-212-3841).


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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