Angola’s 2017 Elections and the Start of a Post-Dos Santos Era

For the first time in the history of its multiparty democracy, Angola held general
elections in August 2017 without President José Eduardo dos Santos on the
ballot paper. In 2016 dos Santos decided not to run again for the presidency
but he remained the party chair. Instead, João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço was
nominated to replace dos Santos as the MPLA candidate. The departure of dos
Santos raised expectations that there would be political change in the country.
However, this did not happen because the MPLA won a qualified majority in
the National Assembly despite their decreased support compared to the results
of the 2012 general elections. Though the 2017 elections were considered to have
been well prepared and executed, the outcome was challenged by the opposition
on the grounds of irregularities in voter registration, the accreditation of party
agents, and problems in both counting and announcing the results. The change
of leader raised a number of questions regarding the implications of a double
centre of power in the MPLA and presidency. How João Lourenço will manage
the question of the factions created by his rise to power is a matter of concern,
together with whether he will be able to end the hegemony and economic power
of dos Santos and his allies. He will also have to deal with the ongoing economic
crisis and boost declining public trust in the MPLA. By addressing some of
these issues this article provides an important contribution to understanding
the electoral processes in Angola.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections
Tags: angola, elections, João Lourenço, José Eduardo dos Santos, MPLA, UNITA
journal of african elections vol17 number 1 transparent democratic governance in africa