Since he was elected in August 2017, Angolan President João Lourenço has been making moves which have surprised the nation. In addition to changing military intelligence chiefs, he also dismissed Isabel dos Santos, daughter of the ex-president José Eduardo dos Santos, from the council presidency of the national oil company Sonangol.
In December 2016, Lourenço replaced José Eduardo dos Santos as the leader of the ruling MPLA party and assumed the country’s presidency after obtaining a parliamentary majority in the August elections.
José Eduardo was in power for over 35 years, a rule marked by human rights violations and restrictions on free expression, with journalists and critics frequently targeted. While now out of the presidency, José Eduardo continues to be a leader of the MPLA and, after the last elections, he joined the Council of the Republic, an advisory body to the president whose members enjoy legal immunity, leading many to conclude that he continues ruling from behind the scenes.
However, these speculations are now put in doubt in light of recent decisions by Lourenço, who appears to be attempting to consolidate his authority over the party.
Carlos Saturnino was nominated to replace Isabel dos Santos. Saturnino presided over Sonangol’s council before being dismissed and replaced by Isabel dos Santos in June 2016, on her father’s orders. As well as Isabel dos Santos, the whole team comprising the company’s executive board was dismissed by Lourenço.
Source: Global Voices