Angola’s two main political parties promised to improve living conditions in the oil-rich nation as they launched campaigns for the general election at rallies in the capital Tuesday. The ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and its longtime rival the National Union for the Independence of Angola (Unita), picked the same neighbourhood of Viana in Luanda for their first rallies ahead of the August 31 polls. Angola’s oil exports have seen the economy of the country scarred by a three-decade civil war grow rapidly, but most Angolans still live in grinding poverty.
“Now that we have achieved most of the national reconstruction programme, our main objective will be to improve the living conditions of Angolans,” President Jose Eduardo dos Santos told hundreds of thousands of party supporters. Organisers estimated the rally-goers at 500,000.
The opposition Unita leader Isaias Samakuva, addressing more than a thousand activists, said he would raise the monthly minimum wage to $500 while ensuring the provision of basics such as clean water. “Nearly 40 percent of the population have been waiting for 30 years to have access to clean water and basic sanitation,” Samakuva said.
Full Article: AFP: Angola parties launch election campaign.