Formally, Angola is a democracy where
fundamental human freedoms and rights are to be
respected. In reality, power is highly concentrated on
an authoritarian government, dominated by the People's
Liberation Movement for Angola's Liberation Party (MPLA).
By a new constitution in 2010, the president gained more
Upon independence from Portugal in 1975, Angola
became a socialist one-party state with the
People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola
(Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola, MPLA)
as the only permissible party. The party's central
committee decided in 1990 to accept the principle of
multi-party systems and in 1992 the country was given a
new constitution which stipulated that the country
should be a democracy. In the same year, the first
multi-party was held.
Total population and chart of Angola for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also covers population density, birth rate, death rate and population growth rates.
A new constitution was adopted in 2010. It gives the
president extensive powers of power. The President is
Head of State and Government, Commander-in-Chief and
Head of the National Security Council. The President
also appoints judges to the Constitutional Court and the
Supreme Court and appoints the Chief Auditor General.
The new constitution abolished the general elections
for the presidential post. Instead, the person at the
top of the party list for the largest party in
parliamentary elections automatically becomes president.
Person number two on the list becomes Vice President.
The term of office of the President and the Vice
President is five years. They can be re-elected.
The country's laws are enacted by the
National Assembly (Assembleia Nacional), whose
220 members are elected in general elections every five
years. The voters cast two votes - one national and one
for the province to which they belong. 130 members are
appointed on the basis of the national distribution of
votes and 90 on the basis of provincial votes (five
seats are added in each province). In both cases, a
proportional system is applied, that is, the mandate is
distributed in proportion to the parties' share of the
total number of votes. The voting age is 18 years. The
President may, in certain matters, pass Parliament by
According to the constitution, the 18 provinces of
Angola are governed by provincial assemblies and their
executive bodies. The provincial government is headed by
a governor who must be approved by the president.
However, elections to the local parishes have been
constantly postponed in the future due to lack of
resources to organize them. Instead, the provincial
governing bodies have been filled with people appointed
by the governor. In 2019, President João Lourenço
breathed new life into local elections. According to
Lourenço's plan, local elections will be held by 2022
The legal system is based on Portuguese and
traditional African law. It is outdated, complicated and
ineffective (read more about the justice system in
Democracy and Rights).
The two warring parties in the 1975–2002 civil war -
MPLA and Unita - remained the dominant political forces
in Angola even after the end of the war. Prior to the
1992 elections, a large number of smaller parties were
formed. There are now dozens of parties in the country,
most of which are locally based.
The MPLA was founded in 1956 as an armed movement to
fight the then colonial rule. MPLA was initially a
communist movement. Many of the Angolans who designed
the MPLA program had studied in Europe and were
influenced by socialist ideas. The communist countries
in eastern Europe became natural allies to the MPLA
regime in Angola, while the support from the western
countries was limited. In the early 1990s, MPLA
abandoned Marxism-Leninism as an ideology and began to
call itself Social Democratic instead. MPLA has its
strongest support in the coastal region. The party has
lost ground in the recent elections but still has a
secure majority in Parliament.
The National League for Angola's Total
Liberation (União Nacional para a Independência
Total de Angola, Unita) was also
founded as a guerrilla movement (1966). Following the
liberation from Portugal in 1974, Unita continued to
fight with the support of South Africa and the United
States, with the MPLA taking over power when the
Portuguese withdrew. Unita is dominated by ovimbundu
people and has its main support in the countryside,
especially in the provinces of Huambo, Moxico and Bié in
central Angola. The fight against communism was not
central to founder Jonas Savimbi. He saw Unita as a
genuine African movement, which would primarily win the
confidence of the rural population. This confidence
decreased significantly after 1992, when Unita committed
a series of severe abuses against civilians (see Modern
By the peace of 2002, Unita officially surrendered
its military operations to function solely as a
political party. After Savimbi's death in 2003, his
successor Isaias Samakuva sought to transform Unita into
a democratic political force. The party has had problems
with lack of resources and internal fragmentation but
has succeeded in strengthening its position in every
election since the peace agreement.
A few months before the 2012 elections, the electoral
union Wide Collection for Angola's Rescue
(Convergência Ampla da Salvação de Angola-Coligação
Eleitoral, Casa-CE) was formed by an
outbreak group from Unita. Casa-CE is led by Abel
Chivukuvuku, who was Samakuva's main competitor for
leadership in Unita. The party unexpectedly did well in
the 2012 election by turning to the middle class and the
intellectuals and by exploiting the growing
dissatisfaction of an increasing number of Angolans over
not receiving the revenue from the oil and diamonds.
This strategy also paid dividends in the 2017 election
when Casa-CE could double its number of seats.
Parliament's smallest parties are the Social
Renewal Party (Renatoção Social, PRS)
and the National Front for the Liberation of
Angola (Frente Nacional de Libertação de
The PRS was formed in 1990 and sees itself as a
center-left party. The party has its strongest support
in northeast Angola. The PRS was part of the coalition
governments formed in 1992 and 1996.
FNLA is also a former guerrilla movement that has
been transformed into a party. With its base of Bakongo
people in the north, FNLA is a prominent regional party.
Unitas leaders are re-elected
Isaias Samakuva, leader of the opposition party
Unita , is re-elected at a party
congress. His rival Abel Chivukuvuku gets a quarter of
The government breaks contact with the IMF
The MPLA government freezes all negotiations with the
IMF and declares that the country no longer needs
foreign loans or assistance. Previously, the IMF has
repeatedly criticized Angola for the severe corruption
in the state apparatus, and reported that huge sums in
the form of oil revenues disappeared without
The president announces parliamentary and
President José Eduardo dos Santos announces that
parliamentary elections will be held in 2008, for the
first time in 16 years, and presidential elections will
be held in 2009.
Angola enters Opec
Angola becomes a member of the oil exporting
countries' organization Opec . In 2007, the value of the
country's oil production exceeds USD 30 billion.