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Angolans vote for first new leader in almost 40 years

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By Euronews
Angolans vote for first new leader in almost 40 years

Angolans go to the polls today in a general election that will ultimately produce a new president … the first for 38 years.

With many voters knowing no other leader than President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, there is a mood for change.

But with the dos Santos family still able to exert power and influence , success for the ruling People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) candidate Joao Lourenco, may bring more of the same.

Lourenco is favourite to win but the opposition, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) which has been battling to gain control for more than 50 years hopes its promise to tackle corruption will give them a boost.

Voters will also have a third choice with the Broad Convergence for the Salvation of Angola – Electoral Coalition ( CASA-Ce). Frustration with the MPLA’s failure to manage Angola’s economy has seen them become the new kid on the block.

“I believe that one of the measures for the new president who will lead the country, will be bring an end to the economic crisis by diversifying it, “ said one voter.
“The country has become reliant on oil … depending on its revenue. We know that the fall of the oil price, on the international market, caused the current slump.”

Whoever wins the priority will be for the election to be seen as free and fair – something which the lack of EU monitors won’t help.

Our reporter Serge Koffi is currently in the Angolan capital, Luanda.

“The job of the next Angolan president will be essentially social. Unemployment, health and education for all, and the high cost of living were all subjects addressed during the election campaign. Important questions for a good numbers of Angolans.”