Also: Angola.
Officially: República de Angola.
Seat of government: Luanda.
Status: Not democratic.
Structure: One-party state, largely autocratic under the current president. In theory, the president is chosen by parliament (Assembleia Nacional), which is elected through proportional representation and geographical constituencies.
Governing party: Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola.
Head of government: José Eduardo dos Santos, president.
Chief opposition party: União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola, led by Isaías Samakuva.
Recent history: The MPLA and UNITA were two of the three main forces fighting against Portugues rule (the third being the Frente Nacional de Libertação de Angola); after independence (1975), they were the contestants in a long war along Cold War lines; UNITA did not demobilize until the death of leader Jonas Savimbi in 2002. The MPLA, an urban-based group, controlled the recognized state, but not all of its territory; it was allied to the Eastern Bloc, while UNITA was allied to the West and controlled much of the countryside, along with the FNLA. Dos Santos took office in 1979, on the death of president Agostinho Neto (1975-9). The MPLA won elections over UNITA in 1992, but did not hold elections for sixteen years after that. After UNITA challenged the 1992 presidential outcome, thousands of its supporters and some promininent officials were killed by MPLA forces. New parliamentary elections were finally held in 2008, but were mismanaged, especially in Luanda, and UNITA called for a revote. The MPLA claimed a large majority. In 2010, the constitution was amended to have the president elected by parliament starting in 2012; at the same time, it gave dos Santos the ability to run for two more terms. The MPLA subsequently claimed to win the 2012 vote.
FH: 6-5, not free. Econ: 3.35 (131), authoritarian.
Updated: 2015 March 7.