Angolan old President must not be a Presidential candidate or nominee elections 2012. Angola has approved a new constitution that abolishes the presidential election and could enable the big thief incument, José Eduardo dos Santos, to remain as head of state until death. Whats the super power no 1 doing about it?.
By: Cassidy Johns Chitali. Luanda, Angola.
The United States of America is a super power number one in the World meaning has the ability to solve World problems in general including military issues and politics of which Angola is a real case.The political situation of Angola has deteriorated and dwindled so much. Almost no democracy in practice but heard in theories. Much to the MPLA’s frustration, the fundamental changes it helped to engender for the region have not ushered in a new era of true peace leading to development of Angola. In fact, the country’s agony does not seem to have an end in sight. This article has suggested that the MPLA government overemphasised the connection between regional changes — however fundamental — and domestic security. Although friendly regimes in the region might provide Angola with an external environment conducive to tackling difficult domestic problems, this is not a sufficient condition for reconciliation and peace at home. Domestic peace requires much more, including an inclusive political system with a wider space and greater role for civil society; the re-establishment of the rule of law; and the responsible and accountable use of the country’s natural resources, especially oil and diamonds. Angola’s current domestic condition and its international position are particularly regrettable, since the country was expected to achieve a measure of international relevance when it attained independence in 1975 after a 14-year anti-colonial struggle. This expectation was neither unfounded nor unrealistic given Angola’s considerable natural resource endowment, including vast deposits of oil and diamonds. Unfortunately, such expectations were shattered in the process of decolonisation. This process was precipitated by a military coup that deposed the regime of Marcelo Caetano in Portugal on 25 April 1974. The coup leaders were mostly military officers who opposed the old regime’s colonial policies. Therefore, one of their main objectives was to end costly colonial wars quickly. Thus, Portugal placed its colonies on the fast track to political independence. The former colonies of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde, São Tomé and Principe, and Mozambique were granted independence without major problems. This was facilitated by the unity within their respective liberation movements. Angola’s situation — where three armed liberation movements representing different ethnic and ideological constituencies were unable to find agreement on a common approach to decolonisation and beyond — was considerably more complex. Predictably, Angola’s decolonisation process quickly degenerated into civil war as the three liberation movements attempted to grab power — forcefully and individually — from the departing colonial authorities.
Each of the three liberation movements attempted to grab power with the help of foreign allies. Consequently, Zaïrian troops invaded Angola from the north in support of the Frente Nacional de Libertação de Angola (FNLA) while South African troops invaded from the south in support of the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA). However, only the MPLA — given its ethnic powerbase around the capital city of Luanda — succeeded in seizing and maintaining itself in power with the help of Cuban troops. Since the outcome of the Angolan conflict was expected to have significant geostrategic implications for Southern Africa, Angola quickly became an important Cold War battleground. Both the United States and the former Soviet Union used ties developed with the FNLA and MPLA during the anti-colonial war to intervene in the civil war. However, compared to Soviet and Cuban support, American support to the FNLA was at best ineffective. In the aftermath of the Vietnam debacle, the US was averse to major foreign military interventions. However, as will be discussed below, the US and South Africa continued to pursue destabilisation strategies — carried out mainly through UNITA — aimed at toppling the young Marxist-Leninist regime that took power in Angola once Portugal departed.
Angola’s foreign policy, then, can be best understood in terms of the MPLA regime’s survival strategies since gaining power. For example, while its ideological background predisposed the new regime to intervene in the liberation wars against settler minority rule in Southern Africa, these struggles were understood to be directly connected to the regime’s own long-term survival. In other words, support for the liberation of Zimbabwe, Namibia, and South Africa constituted an overt attempt to influence Angola’s regional environment by supporting revolutionary change in neighbouring states that exhibited hostile intentions and/or provided support and sanctuary for UNITA and the FNLA. The expectation was that, once liberated, these countries would provide the necessary military, economic and diplomatic assistance to enable the MPLA to solve its domestic problems.
The domestic problems that have conspired to weaken the MPLA regime have not been confined to the military domain. Although the civil war frustrated the new regime’s statebuilding project, economic mismanagement also seriously weakened the Angolan state. The new regime did not have the resources to fill the administrative void left by departing colonial administrators. The mass departure of the settler community also hastened the breakdown of the Angolan economy. It was therefore not surprising that the post-colonial state in Angola never really had the capacity or competence to exercise authority beyond the capital city and provincial capitals. International non-governmental organisations (INGOs) and, more recently, the United Nations have been carrying out most tasks commonly associated with the state, especially in rural areas affected by the war. The rudimentary bureaucracy functions on a quasi-voluntary basis partly because the state is not able to provide full remuneration to its employees. Consequently, bureaucrats resort to extorting bribes and/or joining the informal sector to survive. The collapse of key sectors like health care, education, transport, communications and banking has accompanied the breakdown of the rule of law.
Given this domestic context, characterised by war and other forms of decay, a dynamic foreign policy was seen as an important tool to help the new regime to create the necessary security environment to solve its myriad of domestic problems. For the new Angolan regime, an improved security environment entailed fundamental changes in Southern Africas.
The human and material losses incurred during Angola’s civil war will continue to affect the viability of the state for decades to come. Therefore, Angola’s foreign policy must be redesigned as a tool to help the state reconstitute itself as a first step to an eventual and relevant participation in both regional and international affairs. For Angola, this process of reconstitution can best be achieved through greater diplomatic and economic involvement at the regional level. In particular, Angola must learn from the experience of other countries in the region — like South Africa and Mozambique — that have found ways to overcome the legacy of many years of internal conflict s.
There After months of delays and speculation, Angola’s National Assembly approved a bad and wrong country’s new constitution–which abolishes the need to hold a presidential election and substantially strengthens the president’s powers–on January 21st. President Barak Obama must make efforts to bring this constitution to normal. Revision of the constitution, which dates from 1991, has been on the political agenda since the crushing victory of the ruling party, Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA), in the September 2008 legislative elections. Bolstered by an overwhelming majority in National Assembly, the government created a 60-member commission, dominated by the MPLA, to draw up proposals for revising the constitution prior to the holding of the presidential poll. However, negotiations between the MPLA and opposition parties dragged on, and it was not until November 2009 that the commission finally submitted three proposals to a public consultation: Project A, which advocated a strengthened presidential system; Project B, which advocated a semi-presidential system (with the prime minister as head of government); and Project C, which advocated a parliamentary-presidential system, with no prime minister and the leader of the party with the most parliamentary seats automatically becoming head of state. The MPLA was known to favour Project C, which would in effect do away with the need to hold a separate presidential election, while the opposition vehemently denounced this as violating constitutional law. In the end the government took both the opposition and commentators by surprise by rushing the vote through the National Assembly in January, two months earlier than had been expected–possibly in an attempt to capitalise on the distraction provided by the African Cup of Nations football tournament currently under way in Angola.
The outcome of the constitutional revision is a huge disappointment for both the opposition and local civil-rights groups, which had been pushing for a reduction in the president’s power, a more accountable National Assembly and, most importantly, the timely holding of a presidential election. José Eduardo dos Santos, who completed 30 years in power in September 2009, has never been properly elected as Angolan president. Selected as a consensus candidate who could lead the MPLA after the death of its founder, Agostinho Neto, in September 1979, Mr Dos Santos defied all predictions to entrench himself and his family in power, in the process becoming one of the world’s longest-serving leaders. Mr Dos Santos did contest the country’s first democratic presidential election in September 1992, winning the first round, but a second round was never held as the main rebel movement, the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola, returned to war; since then Mr Dos Santos has, in effect, been acting president of Angola.
Since the end of the civil war in April 2002 Mr Dos Santos has repeatedly promised to hold a presidential poll but then delayed it, first because of the legislative elections in September 2008, and then because of the constitutional revision which lasted the whole of 2009. However, with the rapid approval of the new constitution the issue appears to have been resolved definitively, doing away with the presidential election altogether and leaving selection of the country’s leader to the ruling party, a similar system to that currently in operation in South Africa (and the UK). This has made a mockery of the so-called public consultation process, as Luanda abandoned previous plans to hold a referendum on the new constitution and instead used its absolute majority to push the measure through the National Assembly.
Despite the protestations of the opposition, the new arrangement does not represent a major change in the country’s polity, but merely confirms the status quo. President Dos Santos has long been the supreme arbiter of political affairs in Angola and involved in sealing huge sums of money banked for his personal gain full of corruption and theft, and the new constitution removes any equivocation about the limits of his which is power which is wrong and unfair to Angolans. The new constitution does away with the prime minister, who is little more than a ceremonial figure, and instead allows the Angolan president to appoint his own deputy-president to head the government, who will be under direct presidential control which is also wrong. The new constitution does set a two-term limit for presidents, but as has been the case in many other African countries Mr Dos Santos’s previous 30 years in office will not be considered by the new constitution, enabling him to continue in office until at least 2022 which is unfair he must be ruled out and must not be a presidential candidate if he want must not be a presidential nominee.
Nevertheless, the widespread assumption that the constitutional revision was carried out to enable Mr Dos Santos to remain as president for life which is wrong and internationally condemned is proving to prove misplaced and mislead. Throughout his tenure Mr Dos Santos has overseen a “cryptocratic” government, in which the levers of power are hidden, decisions come down from on high and ministers can be fired without warning like clerks. The Angolan president has deliberately chosen not to groom a successor and instead prefers to keep his real intentions secret from potential rivals. Moreover, anyone unwise enough to emerge as a popular rival within the party has been swiftly sidelined, ensuring the continuing dominance of the president’s inner circle. The true motivation behind the constitutional change might therefore have been less about securing Mr Dos Santos’s indefinite grip on power and more about giving him control over if or when he decides to step down as MPLA and Angolan president. Given his increasing age and persistent rumours of his ill health, it is just as likely that he can not step down from power for years. Under the new constitution, however, the decision is now entirely in his hands, ensuring that the hobbled opposition will be left guessing his next move.
To this end, I request you to compel and to influence to change the Angolan Constitution to enable normal human values and conditions prevailing.
Awaiting your action soon.
Cassidy Johns Chitali.
United States Army and CIA Top Adviser Special Forces.
Phone call: +244937705925