Jose Eduardo Dos Santos has been unanimously elected by the Angolan Congress to replace President Agostinho Neto who died in the Soviet Union earlier this month.
Jose Eduardo Dos Santos has been unanimously elected by the Angolan Congress to replace President Agostinho Neto who died in the Soviet Union earlier this month. A comminque issued by the movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) said the new leader would be president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces until the next party congress, probably next May.
SYNOPSIS: Jose Eduardo Dos Santos was sworn in on Friday (21 September). An official comminque released by the ruling MPLA party said that Dos Santos would remain in the presidency up until the party holds ??? annual party congress. The Angolan News Agency said that Dos Santos was unanimously elected by the Angolan Congress last night (20 September) to fill the office of president and as leader of the ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA). Dos Santos is a former First Deputy Prime Minister.
Dos Santos had also been Minister for Planning and the head of the National Planning Commission in Dr. Neto's last government. Neto died in Moscow last week after a cancer operation. On Monday Neto was given a full State Funeral, and the day has been set aside as a National holiday
Dos Santos is thirty-seven years old. He is the son of stonemason and a committed member of the MPLA. The new Angolan leader graduated as an oil engineer in the Soviet Union in 1969 after six years of study in Moscow.
After Angolan independence in 1975, Dos Santos was made Foreign Minister and later Firs Deputy Prime Minister of the new republic. After the first MPLA Congress in 1977 he was moved higher in the party's political rankings. Observers see the swift action by the committee, in appointing Dos Santos, as an attempt to head off possible conflicts with the government and the party. For the next year Dos Santos will be present of the republic, and commander-in-chief of the country's armed forces.