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A woman with a child on her back casts her ballot at a voting station, Luanda, Angola, Aug. 31, 2012 (AP photo).

Fair Elections Remain Unlikely as Angola Enters the Post-Dos Santos Era

Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017

With Jose Eduardo dos Santos stepping down after 38 years in power, there is little expectation in Angola of fair and free elections later this month. The ruling party headed by dos Santos has taken several steps to ensure its grip on power, stacking the deck against opposition parties and creating an election environment with little oversight or transparency. In an email interview, Dr. Sylvia Croese, a research fellow at the African Centre for Cities and the Department of Sociology at the University of Cape Town, describes the landscape in the runup to the elections, the pessimistic mood of civil society, and the factors that could compromise the outcome.

WPR: What are the reasons for the EU opting not to send an observer mission, how are preparations for the elections going generally, and to what extent has the selection of the territorial administration minister as the ruling party’s vice presidential candidate undermined confidence in the vote? ...

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