JOHANNESBURG – Angolans vote Wednesday in an election that will see President Jose Eduardo dos Santos quit after nearly four decades in power. Yet he has laid the groundwork for a hand-picked successor in an oil-rich country where corruption and human rights concerns are unlikely to dissipate anytime soon.
Defense Minister Joao Lourenco is the ruling MPLA party's candidate to succeed dos Santos, who is expected to remain party leader. Lourenco, whose association with dos Santos dates to the war against Portuguese colonial rule, has pledged to fight graft if elected.
The ruling party is the election front-runner after winning in 2012 with 72 percent of votes amid allegations of irregularities.
The UNITA party, a former rebel force that fought the MPLA in a long civil war, is the main opposition challenger.