September 27, 2008

Paulo Kassoma appointed new prime minister

Angola's ruling party has named a new prime minister in the first step of a government reshuffle after legislative elections earlier this month, state radio RNA has reported. Paulo Kassoma, former governor of central highlands province of Huambo was appointed prime minister to replace Fernando Dias dos Santos, who becomes parliamentary speaker.
MPLA won more than 81 percent of the vote in the elections and saw 191 of its MPs take seats in the 220-member parliament. The new government is expected to be announced and sworn in early in October.
Political analyst Laurence Caromba of South Africa's Centre for International Political Studies played down the importance of a change of prime minister, saying it was not "especially important". Under Angola's constitution, the country's President Jose Eduardo dos Santos is both head of state and government. "Angola desperately needs sweeping changes in its insular, corrupt, single party-dominated political culture. Unfortunately, the appointment of a new prime minister is unlikely to change much," Caromba noted. (rts)

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