February 2, 2011

Constitution "celebrates" first anniversary

Angola marked one year since the promulgation of the new Constitution of the Republic, by the Angolan Head of State, José Eduardo dos Santos, on February 05. The supreme law, which established the Third Republic, is composed of 244 articles, of which most were submitted to adjustments following suggestions made by institutions and ordinary citizens during the public consultation conducted by the Constitutional Commission.

According to the Portuguese expert in constitutional matters, Jorge Miranda, the Angolan Constitution represents a great progress in the institutionalisation of the rule of law in Angola, mainly in the field of fundamental rights. “It is an extremely advanced Constitution, it is a great progress”, said the expert about the Angolan Constitution, which was enacted a year ago. Miranda, who is a professor at the Law Faculty of the Portuguese Catholic University, explained that the Angolan Constitution, however, concentrates powers on the President of the Republic. He pointed out as examples the fact that the government depends on the President, the power he has to dissolve the Parliament and other competences, even related to the Armed Forces. Jorge Miranda has participated in the elaboration of the constitutions of São Tomé e Príncipe and East-Timor.

The new Constitution was drafted by a commission made up by 60 MPs, assisted by a technical team, who also received contributions from the civil society, during the public consultation period. The Constitution was put into force on 5 February 2010, date in which the Angolan Head of State, José Eduardo dos Santos, signed the document and ordered its publication in the State Gazette. (angop)

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