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Political showdown expected when Angola’s MPLA convenes

14th June 2019 BY: African News Agency

When Angola’s ruling MPLA convenes for its seventh extraordinary congress on Saturday, a political showdown, pitting allies of President Joao Lourenco and those of the country’s former first family, is expected.

On Friday, the daughter of former President José Eduardo dos Santos, Welwitschia ‘Tchise’ dos Santos, was suspended from the MPLA after she asked Lourenco last week to resign on the grounds that he was muzzling state institutions, the East African reported.

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However, following her suspension, an unrepentant Dos Santos accused other members of the MPLA of being afraid of her, adding that the real dictator was Lourenco and not her father.

In April, Lourenco said Tchise should be fired because of her ongoing absenteeism from parliament. But she said the real reason behind her suspension was fear that she would reveal uncomfortable facts about the president to those attending the MPLA congress.

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According to Tchise, she has challenged a number of Lourenco’s policies including a decision to bar a number of officials linked to her father’s administration from leaving Angola.

She said she is also consulting lawyers to file an impeachment request at the constitutional court and lobbying MPs to back the formation of a parliamentary committee to inquire into the president's performance.

When Lourenco first took office towards the end of 2017, one of his first moves was to fire another of Dos Santos’ daughters, Isobel, from her position as chair of the state-owned oil company Sonangol.

Isobel, is one of Africa’s richest women while many Angolans live in extreme poverty. Her brother Jose Filomeno dos Santos was also fired from his post at the helm of Angola's sovereign wealth fund.

Both siblings have faced corruption charges. However, they deny any wrongdoing. 

EDITED BY: African News Agency
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