The President of Angola, Agostinho Neto, has dismissed his Prime Minister, Hopo do Nascimento, and six other government ministers.
The President of Angola, Agostinho Neto, has dismissed his Prime Minister, Hopo do Nascimento, and six other government ministers. At a mass rally in the Angolan capital of Luanda on sunday (10 December). President Neto admitted that the decision was a controversial one, but was necessary in order to reorganise the country's Marxist government. United States Senator, Gorge McGovern, has meanwhile been on a three-week fact finding tour of Southern Africa, and he flew into Luanda shortly after the mass rally.
SYNOPSIS: President Neto told the rally that the dismissals followed a decision by the Central Committee of the ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA). He said the abolition of the posts of Prime Minister and those of three Deputy Premiers would help him keep in touch with government ministers, without intermediaries.
The President's speech was interrupted by huge applause from the crowd, and several supporters climbed onto the rostrum to congratulate him. Mr. Neto said both the dismissed Prime Minister and one of the Deputy Premiers were members of the Central Committee which had drawn up the reorganisation plan.
When Prescient Neto resumed his speech he told the rally, which also marked the twenty-second anniversary of the founding of his party, that the dismissals had brought various reactions. "Some are happy, others were said", he said. "But happiness and sadness are facts of everyday life".
United States Senator, Gorge McGovern, held a press conference shortly after his arrival in Luanda on Monday (11 December).