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Angola to get first new president in 38 years

Friday, August 18, 2017 - 01:37

Angola goes to the polls on August 23 and the ruling People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) is fielding a different candidate for the first time in 38 years. As Kate King reports, the opposition is hoping to capitlise on the election by highlighting the government's poor economic record.

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For the first time in almost four decades Angola is set to have a new president. Many in the oil-rich nation say they need one. Unemployment is over 20 percent and the country has slipped into recession. (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) FERNANDO, LUANDA RESIDENT SAYING: "My opinion is that we need to have a free and fair election so we can have better education systems and healthcare. I do not care who wins, I just want better living conditions for all of us. This is the most important thing." The front runner is this man. Sixty-two -year old Joao Lourenco from the ruling MPLA . He faces the leader of the opposition's UNITA party which won just 18 percent of the vote in the 2012 election. This time the party's looking to exploit the government's poor economic track record. Promising to spend on education and health and open the country up to more foreign investment. SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) POLITICAL ANALYST, PROFESSOR FERNANDO MANUEL SAYING: "People say Angola is a very rich country, but rich in what sense? We have potential richness but it is not real wealth. Real wealth happens when there is serious investment in education and health. Countries like Japan have invested a lot in the education sector and they are what they are now, but it means we have to invest seriously in these two sectors if we really want to get out of the situation we are in." Critics accuse the current President of mismanaging Angola's oil wealth. They say he's made his family and allies rich - while the rest suffer. The country is ranked among the world's most corrupt. And come election day there will be no EU observers, after the government failed to agree on conditions. Angolan's though, will be voting for a change, even just in name, when they head to the ballot box on August 23rd.

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Angola to get first new president in 38 years

Friday, August 18, 2017 - 01:37