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Vol 54 No 15

Published 19th July 2013


The Brazil effect

The mass protests in Brazil have rattled Luanda’s political elite as speculation grows about the successor to President Dos Santos

Angola and Brazil share close political and commercial ties so June's mass protests and clashes in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo resonated loudly in Luanda. On paper, President José Eduardo dos Santos's government, presiding over deepening social schisms and grand corruption, should be far more vulnerable to popular protest than Dilma Rousseff's government, which inherited an array of social welfare programmes from its populist predecessor under President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. However, Angola's opposition parties and civic activists have struggled to mobilise protestors in the face of the government's well-financed security services and the power of its patronage machine. Political change in Angola is more likely to be a joint venture between growing numbers of malcontents in the governing Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA) and local activist groups.

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