The President of Angola, Agostinho Neto, has dismissed his Prime Minister, Hopo do Nascimento, and six other government ministers.
CU ZOOM OUT TO SV People at rally in Luanda carrying flags and listening to President Agostinho Neto. (2 SHOTS)
CU People applauding Neto speech.
CU Neto on rostrum after speech.
CU PAN Women listening.
SV OF Neto again speaking from rostrum.
SV Crowd listening to Neto.
SV PAN US Senator Gorge McGovern walking into lobby prior to press conference.
CU & SV Senator McGovern speaking to the press, watched by photographers. (7 SHOTS)
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 8: MCGOVERN: "First I'll make a brief statement then I'll be more than happy to respond to your questions. First of all I'd like to thank the Government of Angola for receiving me as a visitor as well as the members of my party. I realise that it's the first group of this kind of come here for some time, so we regard it as a pleasure to be here."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: 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).