Ver Angola


João Soares: MPLA wanted to remove UNITA's president-elect because he is afraid

Portuguese socialist leader João Soares criticized the “political maneuver” that led to the annulment of UNITA's 13th Congress and the removal of the elected president, which he attributed to the MPLA's fear of the popularity of Adalberto da Costa Júnior.


João Soares, who witnessed the last day of UNITA's 13th congress in which the new president was elected, with Adalberto da Costa Júnior (ACJ) being the only candidate, drew a black portrait of Angola, stressing that education, health and social conditions have been neglected by the MPLA, the party that has ruled since independence in 1975, and which, he says, is trying at all costs to "remain in power".

The former deputy and socialist minister, who has a historical connection to UNITA and maintains "many friends there", told Lusa that he has no party outside the PS, but insisted on being present as it was an "especially important process" that "resolve a totally artificial issue" which served to "hinder the democratic and genuine election of ACJ as UNITA's new leader.

João Soares alluded to Judgment No. 700 of the Constitutional Court which, in October, ruled the annulment of the XIII Congress held in November 2019 and in which ACJ was elected, confirming a group of militants who alleged irregularities, including the Portuguese nationality of the UNITA leader at the time he submitted his candidacy.

"The problem with the MPLA is that they are frightened by the ACJ's popularity and there is no longer any fear of expressing sympathies", pointed out the Portuguese politician, son of the PS founder and former President of the Republic Mário Soares, stressing that "the alternation has to to be built with the opposition", UNITA, in its opinion, being the only party with "a national dimension" capable of achieving this objective.

From the congress, he hopes that "an even stronger leadership" will emerge from the ACJ, after the party "serenely" faced a maneuver to "end a leadership that scares the MPLA".

"There is a deep problem here. I have no party outside Portugal, but I take sides on issues that have to do with freedom, democracy and fundamental human rights," said the former deputy, lamenting that power in Angola is " completely monocolor", with the same party ruling for 46 years and questioned "Has UNITA already lost some elections?".

The socialist stated that the alternation would be proof of "democratic majority" in a country that "has not yet experienced free and fair elections" and added that UNITA faces "one of the biggest propaganda machines in the world, with practically inexhaustible resources".

He also regretted that Angola is one of the countries with the highest level of corruption in the world, which persists, despite the "Shakespearian drama" involving the current president, João Lourenço, and the family of his predecessor, José Eduardo dos Santos, in an allusion to the cases in which some of their children are involved.

In this regard, he underlined that MPLA cadres differ from UNITA cadres because they "have always been very sensitive to material stimuli" and accused the MPLA of wanting to "definitely cling to power, whoever runs it".

He also criticized that in these more than four decades of "exclusive power" and despite the "alibi of the war, which ended 20 years ago, the MPLA has not solved the problems of education, "far below what is desirable", of public health, which is "regrettable" and "deplorable" social security in a country rich in natural resources that "have been dilapidated".