Angola is a Portuguese speaking country in the southern parts of Africa with a population of around 2.8 million. The country’s civic legal system is based on the Portuguese Civil Law. There is no judicial review of legislation. Angola’s economy is overwhelmingly driven by the oil sector. Diamonds also play a role in the country’s economy. Although subsistence farming is the main means of livelihood for most people, half of the food is imported. Angola is still recovering from the 27 year civil war that ended in 2002. Up to 1.5 million lives and 400,000 people have been displaced due to the civil war.


Political Profile/Structure/System

The president is both the head of state and head of government. The president has almost absolute power.

The president is the leader of the winning party. The legislature is unicameral and consists of 223 members elected for a 4 year term.
President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has been in power since 1979, and is Africa's second-longest serving head of state after Equatorial Guinea's Teodoro Obiang.

He is credited for leading the country into recovery after the 27 year long civil war.

The state controls all media with nationwide reach, including radio, the most influential medium outside the capital.

Elections and Political Parties

Since the end of the Angolan Civil war, there has only been two elections the 2008 and 2012 legislative elections. In the 2008 elections, political parties were each allocated five minutes in the television and ten minutes on the radio. Each political party was allocated one million dollars by the government to facilitate their campaign. However the opposition party claimed to have received the money late. On August, Human Rights Watch sent missions to Luanda and four other provinces, they reported that campaigning atmosphere was not free from intimidation or pressure. The Prime Minister reassured them that the elections would be free and fair. Later on September, the Human Rights Watch expressed its doubts that the election would be free and fair. EU observers stated that bribes and intimidation was wide spread. However, the Southern African Development Community, stated that the poll was credible, peaceful and transparent. Luanda lacked necessary equipment for voting during the election.

Elections and Political Parties ContDolor Sit Amet

ASome polling stations failed to open or opened late. The voting period was therefore extended to the next day. When the results were released, Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola had majority seats with a strong percentage of 81.65. In the 2012 elections, over 10,000 voting centres were opened from 7:00 to 18:00 and the day was declared a national holiday. Nine political parties participated in the election. The Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola had the majority seats with a 71.84%. The AU stated that the elections were free, fair and credible. They also noted that the opposition parties were not been given equal access to the media.

By the Numbers

Percentage of the women in parliament: 36.8%




Participation and Inclusion

In 1997, Angola subscribed to the SADC Gender and Development Declaration in which they committed themselves to do the following: 1. Have at least 30 per cent women in political and decision making structures by 2005. 2. Promote women’s full access to and control over productive resources to reduce the level of poverty among women. 3. Repeal and reform all laws which subject women to discrimination. 4. Take urgent measures to prevent and deal with increasing levels of violence against women and children. Angola is also currently implementing the Maputo Protocol.