The Government Structure of Angola
Angola is a country, which is situated in the central part of Africa. The capital of Angola is Luanda. It is the biggest city of the country. The country is divided into 18 provinces. Further, they are subdivided into smaller municipal communities. Angola is a former Portuguese colony. The country gained its independence on November 11, 1975 as a result of the Carnation Revolution. That peaceful revolution in Portugal granted the independence to the colonies. Since then, November 11 has been celebrated as the Independence Day in Angola.
The legal system of Angola is based on the Portuguese system of civil law and customary law, though it has recently been modified in order to meet the demands of political pluralism. According to the government type Angola is a presidential republic. In fact, it is a multi-party democracy represented by a number of political forces, though the presidential institution is rather strong and influential. The above situation is conditioned by the fact that the Constitution provides the President with numerous powers.
The political system of the country is represented by the following three branches: the executive branch, the legislative branch and the judicial one. The executive branch is represented by the President, Vice-President and the Council of Ministers. The country’s President is the Leader of State and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Angola He has the authority to appoint the country’s Vice-President and other government members. He also dismisses them, dissolves the Government and the National Assembly, moreover, appoints and dismisses the ambassadors and the judges of the Supreme Court. The President is elected by the vote for a five-year term with the right to be re-elected for three subsequent terms. The current President of the country has been the leader of the country for the last 33 years already. He was elected on September 10, 1979. Since then, he has been the head of the country. The above fact leads to the conclusion that the power in Angola is characterized by authoritarian features. The Vice-President, appointed by the President, is the head of the Government of Angola. The President is empowered to appoint the ministers. Vice-President, Ministers and Deputy Ministers are also referred to the Council of Ministers. The Council of Ministers is summoned by the President who also sets its agenda. The Government has both executive and legislative powers as stipulated by the Constitution.
The legislative branch in the political system of Angola is represented by the National Assembly. There are 223 members in the Assembly. The members are elected to a four-year term. The National Assembly is the principal legislative body in Angola. It approves the laws on all issues by a simple majority. The exception constitutes the laws that are reserved only to the Government, which also has legislative powers. Latter they are set in the Constitution or may be delegated by the National Assembly.
The judicial branch of power in Angola is represented by a number of courts. The Supreme Court is the leading judicial body. The Supreme Court includes the President, Vice-President and at least 16 judges who are appointed by the President. Currently, the Supreme Court functions as the Constitutional Court. There are also provincial and municipal courts for civil and administrative, maritime, work, minors and criminal matters. The above courts have quite limited jurisdiction though the appeals from the decisions go straight to the Supreme Court. As it was mentioned above, Angola is a multi-party democracy, so, the political views are represented by a number of parties. Some of them are in opposition to the ruling political regime. The political system of Angola is characterized by centralization of power which makes it possible to coordinate the activity of the local authorities and limit their powers to a certain extent. Despite the adoption of the democratic constitution, the state power in Angola has a number of features that characterize the authoritarian society (for example, the executive power domination, and tough state centralization). The main peculiarity of the development of Angola’s political system lies in the establishment of a transitional type of democracy which is the reflection of the historical evolution of the country.