Country Listing

Angola Table of Contents



Government: Marxist-Leninist government based on 1975 Constitution (later revised) but dominated by Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola-Workers' Party (Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola-Partido de Trabalho--MPLA-PT). Government composed of executive branch led by president, who appointed Council of Ministers and Defense and Security Council. Legislative branch consisted of People's Assembly. As of late 1988, because of inability to hold elections, People's Assembly had been appointed. Justice system composed of Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, people's revolutionary courts, and series of people's courts.

Politics: Real power resided with MPLA-PT, whose chairman was president of republic. Political Bureau most important body in party. Central Committee, although subordinate to MPLA-PT party congress, wielded greater influence over party policies. No legal opposition parties, but beginning in 1976 National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola -- UNITA) waged devastating insurgency from bases in southeast and elsewhere.

Foreign Relations: Government relied on Soviet Union and its allies, especially Cuba, for military support. United States and other Western nations played important economic roles. South Africa, which has supported UNITA, most important regional threat. December 1988 regional accords with South Africa and Cuba--which provided for cessation of South African support for UNITA, withdrawal of Cuban troops from Angola, and independence for Namibia--may change complexion of regional politics and foreign relations.

International Organizations: Member of African Development Bank, Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (observer status), Customs Cooperation Council, Group of 77, International Telecommunications Satellite Organization, Nonaligned Movement, Organization of African Unity, Southern African Development Coordination Conference, United Nations and its agencies, and World Federation of Trade Unions.

Data as of February 1989