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Lusa - Business News - Angola: President 'not as expected', must let others 'shine' - Tchizé dos Santos

Lisbon, Jan. 10 (Lusa) - ‘Tchizé' dos Santos, a daughter of Angola's former president, José Eduardo dos Santos, and member of parliament, said on Thursday that the handover of power to his successor, João Lourenço, has not turned out as people had expected, and that the new president should no longer be the "only one" who is allowed to "shine".
In an interview with Lusa in Lisboa, Welwitschea ‘Tchizé' dos Santos commented on Lourenço's first 16 months in power, during which the new president has removed several members of the dos Santos family from positions of power.
Asked by Lusa whether this constituted a witch-hunt in Angola, the 40-year-old deputy was laconic: “I can't say that, because if I say that perhaps I will leave here and be sued by the President of the Republic for slander. And I don't want to be a second Rafael Marques" - a reference to the journalist and civil activists who under the previous president faced a series of defamation charges from the government.
On the current tension between Lourenço and dos Santos, whom the current president has accused of leaving state coffers “empty” - a claim that was promptly denied by the former head of state, the deputy confessed her surprise.
“I speak as an Angolan: this wasn't the transition that any Angolans expected," she said. "For me, the transition would be a celebration, an unparalleled moment and there would be an extremely peaceful transition with no contradictions. In the meantime, from the statements of the ex-president and of the current presidente, there's a public contradiction [that is] not desirable for any political party."
Both men belong to the MPLA, which has governed Angola since independence, and which she also represents in parliament. The party has since September last year been led by Lourenço, who took over from José Eduardo dos Santos as leader precisely one year after his inauguration as president.
'Tchizé' dos Santos, who is seen as the politically closest of his children to a man who was president of Angola from 1979 to 2017, told Lusa that she was committed to the goal of carrying on her father's "legacy", despite resistance in some sectors of the MPLA.
“I fear that, after this interview, I might arrive in Luanda and face disciplinary action within the party and be expelled from the Central Committee, for example,” she said. “Correcting what is wrong also includes no longer living in a state in which the only one who can have an opinion is the president, the only one person who can appear, shine and be applauded is the president.
“In a democracy, in a country, there are several actors, in various areas," she stressed.
Stressing that she was not set on the idea of “a political career,” she argued that the “biggest mistake” of Angola's politicians, especially “of older generations, who had no other opportunities,” is to become “professional politicians.”
She herself has been a member of parliament since 2008, but also has extensive business interests.
Of her father, she noted that, when he came to power in 1979 "the first thing he did was abolish the death penalty. In 1979 [when he succeeded Angola's first head of state, António Agostinho Neto], the president had discretionary power, the first thing he did was to have stopped having discretionary power to have people killed."


Agency : LUSA

Date : 2019-01-11 08:51:03


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