In a preview of Angola for 2024-2028, the British magazine's analysis unit highlights that the President, João Lourenço, must choose as priorities in his second term the fight against corruption and the improvement of living conditions to recover lost popularity.
Despite the little progress made in reforms and economic diversification, the EIU hopes that João Lourenço and the MPLA will maintain power during their second term "given their strong control over the state apparatus", and that the President will run for a third term, winning the 2027 elections.
"But it is unlikely that this election will be free or fair," the document reads.
Economists also predict that the election will not be peaceful "given the widespread dissatisfaction with the long-standing government of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), which has been in power since independence in 1975.
Despite the MPLA not having the two-thirds majority in parliament necessary to amend the Constitution, the EIU admits that Lourenço "disrespects the Constitution", using his unlimited executive powers like his predecessor, José Eduardo dos Santos, who remained in power during 38 years.
Furthermore, as he "remains popular within the MPLA", João Lourenço is in a better position than other party leaders to defeat the opposition.
"Opposition parties will contest the measure and the vote itself will not be free or fair, leading to riots," predicts the report, noting that the regime will use its "tight control over the security apparatus" to repress dissent.
The document also addresses Angola's relations with Western countries, which "are improving", helping to secure new markets and financing for infrastructure, such as the Lobito corridor, a railway infrastructure that will connect Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (RDCongo) to that Angolan port city.
But the EIU warns that Angola will have to know how to balance this approach with its relationship with its long-standing partners, such as China (main oil importer and creditor) and Russia, one of the major investors in Angola's diamond sector.
Given the high demand for energy in Europe, the EIU predicts that in this field Angola will be in a position of strength and maintain its regional reputation as an important military power, while João Lourenço continues to mediate peace talks between RDCongo and Rwanda.
According to EIU analysts, the contingent of 500 Angolan soldiers that was deployed to RDCongo to support peace operations and the cantonment of the M23 rebel movement until March 2024, is expected to continue while the conflict persists.
"The sharing agreement for the exploration and production of Angola-RDCongo hydrocarbons that was signed in June 2023 and the development of the Lobito Corridor provides a solid basis for military support" from Angola to that neighboring country, they highlight in the report.