Angolans have headed to the polls in a historic election marking the end of the thirty-eight-year rule of ailing President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos, with his MPLA party expected to retain power but with a reduced majority.
Polling stations opened today across the country, amid reports of a slow start in the nation’s capital of Luanda, where Dos Santos and his hand-picked successor and front-runner, Defense Minister Joao Lourenco, are due to cast their ballots later in the day.
Dos Santos’ retirement, which was reportedly prompted by ill health, has triggered the biggest political transition in decades for Angola, a leading oil exporter in Africa. He will, however, keep his position as the MPLA head.
Nearly nine point three million Angolans are registered to cast their ballots to decide the fate of the country’s two hundred and twenty-member National Assembly. The winning party will then appoint the president.