Friday, 13 January 2012

Angolan politics

2012 is an important year for Angola. As well as general elections, the country will hold local government elections for the first time*. Voter registration is currently underway and awareness campaigns are planned. Elections are due to take place in September.

It is to be hoped that the statement by the Mass Media Minister that must promote "Morally Uplifting Songs". I'm hoping that something has been lost in the translation - any Media Minister who starts demanding 'morally uplifting' media content that 'promotes our national values' seems unlikely to prioritise media freedom and critical engagement. Particularly problematic in a country where the government was accused of intimidation and abuses of power over a protest led by hiphop artists just last year.

Speaking of critical engagement, this interesting article suggesting that President José Eduardo dos Santos might have channelled US$40 million to companies owned by his own family in the 2012 (fiscal year) budget is a little worrying. Angola's president has been in power for 32 years and it is unclear whether he will choose to run again this year.

*Although it turns out they do hold votes for Village Headmen, some of which are apparently being hi-jacked by Namibians:
"Namibians are really spoiling our politics and we do not appreciate it at all. Something needs to be done," said one Angolan traditional leader.

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