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João Lourenço says that the return of JES is good for the party and for the country

President João Lourenço spoke for the first time about the return of his predecessor, José Eduardo dos Santos, to Angola, claiming to be good for the country and for the party.

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Lourenço's statements are published this Tuesday in an article by the Financial Times (FT) that draws a picture of Angola and its challenges for the foreseeable future, highlighting the difficulties faced by João Lourenço in the face of an economic "storm" he has not yet managed. to control.

"The fact that he (José Eduardo dos Santos) has returned is good for everyone, not just for our relationship, but good for the country, good for the party," the President told the FT, who noted the conciliatory tone in the face of to his predecessor, noting at the same time that the fight against corruption that João Lourenço elected as his banner "has wreaked havoc on the MPLA".

"But there are signs of slowing down as next year's elections approach and the need for party unity will be essential," the FT reads.

José Eduardo dos Santos, whose eldest daughter, Isabel dos Santos, has been one of the main targets of justice, returned to Angola in September, after being withdrawn for 30 months in Spain, but nothing was disclosed about the reasons that led him to return. officially. From the Presidency, nothing was heard on the subject either.

On the day that the former president, who led Angola for 38 years, returned, on 14 September, João Lourenço was visiting Cuanza Norte province, and José Eduardo dos Santos was received at the airport by the State Protocol, but without presence of any member of the Government or MPLA leader, party of which he is president emeritus.

Only two days later did the Presidency make it known, via its Facebook page, that the two "greeted each other" in a telephone conversation.

The Financial Times text highlights that, given the economic recession – now in its fifth year – the MPLA seems more vulnerable than at any other time in its nearly 50-year rule in Angola, despite João Lourenço being confident of victory.

"As for the possibility of having a bad result in the next elections, I think it is very remote," he told reporters, adding that those who knew the country understand the MPLA's capacity for resistance.

With a congress to choose a new leadership for the party scheduled for December, João Lourenço already has at least one rival, the militant António Venâncio, who presented himself as a candidate last week.

It also faces, as the newspaper points out, the disenchantment of the urban middle class, which according to some analysts tends to move away from the MPLA, and a robust opposition that brought together three parties in a United Patriotic Front that has sought to capitalize on the high levels of dissatisfaction among Angolans with the government.

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