Joao Lourenco has been sworn in as president of Angola, becoming the first new leader in the oil-rich southern African nation in almost four decades.
Lourenco, 63, took over on Tuesday from Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who ruled the former Portuguese colony for 38 years. The People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola has governed since Angola’s hard-fought independence from Portugal in 1975, with Dos Santos taking power in 1979.
Opposition parties boycotted the inauguration after denouncing “irregularities” in the election, saying the ballot was marred by unfair media coverage and suppression of opposition voters. The election commission dismissed the opposition complaints.
This month UNITA, the main opposition party, dropped its threat to refuse to attend parliament over its complaints, while the Constitutional Court dismissed its case alleging election flaws. Lourenco will be Angola’s first head of state to be constitutionally limited to serving two five-year terms.