Angola's Dos Santos May Delay Stepping Down as Party Leader

(Bloomberg) -- Angola’s former president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who continues to head the ruling party, said that the party should choose his successor in December or April next year.

The announcement signals that Dos Santos may renege on a 2016 promise to quit active politics this year. The 75-year-old spoke at a meeting of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola’s central committee on Friday, according to MFM radio. The committee is the party’s main decision-making body.

Since his replacement as president by Joao Lourenco following elections in August, Dos Santos has mostly remained silent. Lourenco, who has removed several of Dos Santos’s family members and allies from key positions of power, reminded Dos Santos in public remarks in January of his pledge to step down from the party leadership this year.

“Dos Santos is trying to minimize the impact of the reforms underway by staying in control of the ruling party,” Jose Eduardo Agualusa, an Angolan writer, said in comments broadcast by TV station SIC Noticias. “There is real war between the president and the party leader.”

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