• Angola’s August 2012 elections, although generally peaceful on polling day, fell short of international and regional standards. José Eduardo dos Santos, in power for 33 years despite never having been elected, was voted president, and his ruling party’s position was reaffirmed. Leading up to the election, political parties had unequal access to state resources, and Santos’s party dominated the media. The elections oversight body did not hold Santos’s party to account for violating electoral laws, and independent observation was hampered by delays and restrictions. Acts of violence by apparent plainclothes police against peaceful protesters before the elections contributed to a climate of fear.

  • Children pick through rubbish dumped beside a Sonangol (Angolan state oil company) complex. Angola is the second largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa.

    Angola held general elections on August 31, 2012, reaffirming the ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola, MPLA) party’s position in power and for the first time awarding incumbent José Eduardo dos Santos, in power for 33 years, the presidency through a vote.