Angolans Vote in Historic Election
President Jose Eduardo dos Santos is the only leader that the majority of the 22 million people who live in Angola have ever known. He will soon leave office after 38 years in power.
Many Angolans are preparing to vote for the first time. Almost all of those who have marked ballots in the past have never seen one without Santos’ name on it.
Ana Maria Espirito Santos Monteiro is 60 years old. She has never voted because she did not believe there was a reason to do so. That is because dos Santos has often been accused of rigging elections.
Monteiro told VOA that she is going to vote for the first time Wednesday because she does not believe rigging will be widespread in the next election. She says she hopes it will be transparent and fair.
Monteiro supports the CASA-CE opposition party. It was formed in 2012 and controls eight seats in parliament.
CASA-CE faces strong competition from the MPLA, which has ruled the country since 1975. The party has nominated foreign minister Joao Lourenco to be Dos Santos’ successor.
But many younger voters are unhappy with the MPLA. They blame the party for the country’s economic inequality.