Uhuru-Spirit News


27 September, 2017 | Uhuruspirit

The new Angolan President João Lourenço and his wife Ana Dias Lourenço, during the swearing-in ceremony in Luanda on 26 September 2017. © AMPE ROGERIO / AFP

The new Angolan president João Lourenço was sworn in on Tuesday 26 September before thousands of people and a dozen heads of state. He takes the lead of the country after 38 years of reign of José Eduardo dos Santos. This comes following the overwhelming victory of the ruling MPLA in the August general elections. During his investiture ceremony, the new head of state assembled and committed to strengthening democracy in his country.

João Lourenço was sworn in before thousands of people gathered in Independence Square. Many heads of state were also present: the president of Portugal, as well as a dozen of his African counterparts, like the Congolese Joseph Kabila and Denis Sassou-Nguesso, the South African Jacob Zuma and the Guinean Alpha Condé, currently president in office of the African Union.

João Lourenço's predecessor, José Eduardo Dos Santos, was one of the last to take his place in the rostrum. The ex-president appeared casual, smiling, commenting on the few protocolary hiccups.

After the official presentation of the new president João Lourenço and his vice-president, the former Angolan head of state passed the witness to the new one - a symbolic but historic gesture, after 38 years of presidency. José Eduardo Dos Santos put around the neck of his successor the necklace and the presidential medal, punctuated by a warm handshake between the two men.

“I will be the president of all Angolans and I will work to improve the living conditions and well-being of all our people to meet the great expectations aroused by my election and the renewed confidence in the MPLA. For this new political cycle that begins today and draws its legitimacy from the polls, the Constitution will be our compass and the laws, our criterion of decision. Building democracy must be done day after day. It is not the sole responsibility of the organs of the State. It is a process of the entire society, of all of us. So we will build alliances and work together to overcome any differences and make the country grow. I now assume my commitment to implement my electoral promises, with public policies that meet citizens' expectations; with an inclusive government involving the participation of all Angolans irrespective of their place of birth, gender, mother tongue, religion, economic situation or social condition,” the new president said during his inaugural speech.

“We have the claim to deepen the democratic rule of law, in particular by strengthening institutions and enabling the full exercise of citizenship, with an increased role for civil society. We will engage in the field of state reform, so as to enable the harmonious and sustainable development of the territory and the communities. And this, through the decentralization of powers, the gradual establishment of municipalities and the transfer of competences to the latter. To achieve this, it is imperative to diversify the economy and to combat regional asymmetries. No governance will be successful without open dialogue with different social forces. That is why we are betting a closer relationship with trade unions, professional bodies, NGOs and various pressure groups, as partners of the executive. All these forces of Angola must be called upon to contribute to the design and implementation of public policies that the National Assembly and the Executive will have to validate,” he added.

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