|December 11, 2003
MPLA Congress: "National, independent and progressive character" reaffirmed
Angola's ruling MPLA party reaffirmed its character of an independent, progressive and modern political organisation, ideologically based on democratic socialism. According to a general resolution from the MPLA 5th Congress, the ruling party groups on its ranks Angolan citizens without discrimination against social group, sex, skin colour, ethnic origin, religious creed or place of birth. In the suggested amendments to the draft statutes, MPLA indicates that it will combine its nature of party of masses with the integration and active participation of cadres, intellectuals and national patriotic sectors that abide by and accept its statutes.
The 5th Congress has also introduced innovations towards strengthening the party's internal democratisation, especially with regard to the existence of several candidates and contesting lists, securing statutorily equal treatment in the party electoral campaigns. In order to adequate the functionality of the MPLA central structure and instil in it the necessary agility for the new challenges, the conclave has decided to create two posts assisting the party President, namely that of vice-president and of secretary general, with the latter performing administrative duties, both elected by the Central Committee.
In view of the determining role played by women in this event, the conclave decided to set a percentage not lower than 30 percent of female representatives to the party's leading organs at all levels. During the Congress, Eduardo dos Santos was furthermore re-elected and he will hence lead the party for the coming five years.
In the meantime, the Government has announced that it will increase the budget for the social sector in 2004 to 33 %, against this year's 24 %. President Dos Santos explained that next year's measures are aimed at protecting the incomes of the ill-favoured workers, reducing unemployment and promoting social justice. The MPLA President also advocated greater attention to the sector of education, which he considered as being "strategic" for the development because, as he put it, generalized training and constant upgrading of Angolan citizens will allow realize and materialize the policies outlined in this field. He also underlined the need to reinforce cooperation with the developed countries in order to overcome the backwardness at scientific and technological levels. (Angola Press Agency, Luanda)