Angola Opposition Party Requests Report on President's Health

(Bloomberg) -- Angola’s main opposition party asked the government for official information about President Jose Eduardo dos Santos’s health after he left in a private trip to Spain more than two weeks ago.

“There are many rumors about the health of the president and there is a need to officially provide clarification about what is happening,” Alcides Sakala, a spokesman for the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, said by phone from Luanda, the capital. “While this is a society that is very fertile when it comes to rumors, there is no official information available about the president’s health.”

Dos Santos’s daughter, Isabel, said on her Instagram account that reports that her father had died were fake and aimed at causing turmoil in Angolan politics. The 74-year-old Dos Santos, Africa’s second-longest serving ruler, traveled to Barcelona on May 1, Angola’s state-owned news agency Angop reported.

Dos Santos, in power since 1979, has said he won’t run as the ruling party’s candidate in elections this year. During his rule, Angola endured a civil war to emerge as a rival to Nigeria as Africa’s biggest oil producer. Defense Minister Joao Manuel Goncalves Lourenco has been named the candidate for the ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola in the vote scheduled to take place on Aug. 23.