Angola. According to a constitutional amendment adopted by Parliament in January, Angola’s president is no longer to be elected by universal suffrage. Instead, the leader of the party that has a majority in parliament should be head of state. The constitutional amendment also abolished the post of prime minister. The opposition party UNITA boycotted the vote on the grounds that the change in law weakens democracy.
According to COUNTRYAAH, Angola has a population of 30.81 million (2018). The constitutional change was implemented a few months earlier than most expected, amid Angola hosting the African football championship. There were suspicions that the government was rushing through the decision to avoid a wide debate while the nation’s focus was on the football tournament.
The races gave bad publicity to Angola when two members of Togo’s national team squad and their Angolan driver were killed in a fire attack on their bus in the enclave Cabinda. Two factions of a separatist organization claimed to have been behind the attack but claimed the attack had been made by mistake and intended to target Angolan security forces. Later in the year, five human rights activists were sentenced to prison for up to six years for “crimes against the state”. They had been arrested shortly after the attack on the bus and their case was linked to the attack, although this was not explicitly stated in the verdict.
President José Eduardo dos Santos carried out a major government reform in October. He also appointed a new chief of defense, a former general of the former UNITA rebel army. The measures were considered aimed at strengthening the MPLA government party ahead of the 2012 parliamentary elections, after which dos Santos may receive an extended mandate.
Angola is divided into three climate zones:
It is tropical on the coast and in the north of the country, which means that there are high daytime temperatures between 25 and 30 ° C all year round, and it is only slightly cooler at night. November to March is the rainy season. The climate is strongly influenced by the cool Benguela Current (17–26 ° C), so fog is common. The average rainfall is 500 mm, in the south hardly 100 mm annually.
The highlands in the center and south of the country are temperate tropical, there are significant temperature differences between day and night, especially in winter. In Huambo, for example, the temperatures in July are between 25 ° C during the day and 7–8 ° C at night, plus an enormous drought. Similar to the coast, the rainy season is from October to April. An average of around 1000 mm of rain falls per year.The southeast of the country is mostly hot and dry with cool nights in winter and heat and occasional rainfall in summer. The annual precipitation fluctuates around 250 mm.