Angola’s Dos Santos to seek new term
Luanda – Angola’s President Jose Eduardo dos Santos will seek a new term with former state oil company head Manuel Vicente as his vice president in September polls, a source in the ruling MPLA said on Saturday.
The southern African oil giant is expected to hold elections around September, and the run-up is being closely watched for signs of whether Dos Santos will seek a new term and whom the MPLA might pick to replace the long-ruling leader, in power since 1979, when he eventually steps down.
A member of the MPLA’s central committee told AFP on condition of anonymity that the party had given Dos Santos the number one spot on its election list with Vicente at number two.
“Manuel Vicente appears as number two on the party’s list for the next general elections of September 2012, that is, as future vice president of the republic or successor to the president as stipulated in the constitution,” the source told AFP, saying the decision was taken at a central committee meeting held Friday.
The election will be just the second since Angola’s 27-year civil war ended in 2002. The MPLA took 81% of the vote at the last polls, in 2008, and is again seen as the overwhelming favourite.
Under a new constitution ratified in 2010, the president will be chosen from the top of the winning party’s list in the parliamentary vote.
Dos Santos, 69, has not said publicly whether he will run.
Vicente has been touted as Dos Santos’ likely successor since a private newspaper reported last year that the president had picked him as his replacement.
Speculation around Vicente increased with news last month that Dos Santos had moved him from Sonangol to a cabinet position as economic co-ordination minister.
Vicente, 55, an engineer by training, had been chief executive at the powerful state oil company since 1999, after stints in the energy and petroleum ministries.
Angola is sub-Saharan Africa’s second oil producer behind Nigeria.
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