Angola Government and Politics
In January 2010, according to AllCityCodes.com, Parliament passed a constitutional amendment. One of the most important changes was that the president should no longer be elected by direct election but by parliament. The president is automatically the leader of the largest party. At the same time, the new constitution stated that the president can only sit for 2 periods. That should limit Dos Santo’s tenure to another 2 * 5 years.
That same month, Togo’s football national team was attacked by armed men in the Cabinda enclave and 2 were killed. Various warring factions of the separatist group FLEC subsequently took charge of the attack. Authorities subsequently arrested the 14 Angolans charged with the attack. Despite several convictions, all were released again in December 2010.
In March 2010, 7 policemen were sentenced to 24 years in prison for the killing of 8 youths in the Largo da Frescura district of Luanda in July 2008. Still, the police continued to punish violations of even basic human rights. Also see AbbreviationFinder for abbreviation of AO and its meanings of Angola.
Although they signed an agreement with the Democratic Republic of Congo in September 2009 for the two countries to suspend the expulsion of each other’s nationals, the expulsions continued through 2010. Alone during the period September – December 2010, the UN Office for Human Rights, OCHA, reported that Angola had expelled 12,000 to DR Congo.
The drones of the “Arab Spring” reached Angola in the spring of 2011 with the conduct of several smaller demonstrations against Dos Santos and his government. Santos responded again by tightening internet access and calling on established media to conduct “self-censorship”. Since 2000, Internet control has increased dramatically in both the developed capitalist world and the Third World. The smaller demonstrations against the regime continued through 2012, and this was answered again by sentencing protesters 45-90 days in prison for ” civil disobedience “.
The economic crisis hit Angola’s native colonial lord Portugal in 2010-11 hard, leading to a drastic increase in emigration from Portugal to Angola. In 2010, 23,787 visas were issued by Angola to traveling Portuguese. In 2011, there were 3,000 Portuguese companies in Angola.
At the August 2012 parliamentary elections, MPLA had to note a decline of 9.7% to 71.8% of the vote. However, it still yielded 175 out of Parliament’s 220 seats. UNITA rose 8.3% to 18.7% and gained 32 seats – a doubling compared to the previous elections. The new party CASA-CE that had been called off by UNITA was elected with 8 seats. The turnout was 62.8%. It was the first election after the constitutional amendment in 2010, and not surprisingly, Parliament elected dos Santos as president. He will only be eligible for re-election once more (in 2017). The African Union noted that the election had been “free, fair, transparent and credible”. However, the Union noted that the opposition had not had equal access to the media. UNITA announced that it would appeal the election result as it did not match the party counts at the polling stations. CASA-CE chose a similar strategy.
Torture and mistreatment of prisoners continues to be widespread. On October 3, 2012, Manuel “Laranjinha” Francisco was arrested by police. Witnesses could later report that he was beaten at the police station. The following day, police told him he had been transferred to another police station. However, that was not the case. He was found in the morgue at one of Luanda’s hospitals. Authorities would not comment and subsequently refused to launch an investigation into the incident.
There are also significant restrictions on freedom of expression. In March 2012, 15 police officers from the National Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DNIC) conducted a raid on the Folha-8 newspaper as part of an investigation into the newspaper’s publication of a satirical photo montage with the president, the vice president and several others. Twenty of the newspaper’s computers were confiscated and in June DNIC called 7 of the newspaper’s journalists for questioning. Several journalists were arrested in 2013 and charged with defamation.