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Solemn parliamentary session kicks off

Tue, 15 Oct 2019 11:37 - Updated Tue, 15 Oct 2019 11:37

Luanda - The opening of the 2019/2020 parliamentary year just kicked off this Tuesday morning, with the solemn session of the National Assembly, being marked by the State of the Nation address from the Head of State, João Lourenço, which is constitutionally mandatory.

This is the third time that the Head of State addresses the nation from the National Assembly (Parliament) since taking office on 26 September 2017.

The intervention of the also head of the Executive Branch is to mark the beginning of a new stage of expected strong debates around the legislative package for the first local (municipal) elections to be held in Angola.

This address of the Angolan President in the National Assembly obeys a legal imperative that started in 2010 after the approval of the Constitution of the Republic of Angola.

Article 118 of the Angolan “Magna Carta” states that the Head of State addresses to the country, at the opening of the parliamentary year, at the National Assembly (on 15 October), a message about the State of the Nation and the policies adopted for the resolution of the main issues, promotion of Angolan welfare and development of the country.

As it was in 2018, the presidential speech will happen amid a very adverse economic situation for Angola, which looks to recover from the economic crisis that started in 2014.

Last year, João Lourenço mentioned, among other relevant aspects, the Macroeconomic Stabilization Programme, whose implementation started  in January 2018, having considered its results encouraging.

In addition to the MPs, the solemn opening act of the new legislative year is also to be attended by government officials, presidential aides, representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited in Angola, civil society, ecclesiastical personalities and other guests.

The Angolan National Assembly is a sovereign body with a unicameral chamber. Under the terms of the Constitution, it represents the people and is invested with Legislative Power.

It consists of 220 deputies (MPs), 130 of whom are elected by proportional representation and 90 by provincial electoral wards.

Deputies are elected every five years.

In this sovereign body are represented the political parties and coalitions, whose respective numbers of deputies result from the 2017 elections, namely  MPLA (150), UNITA (51), CASA-CE (16), PRS (2) and FNLA (1).

The PRS and FNLA do not have parliamentary groups, as they did not obtain a minimum of three deputies in the general elections of 23 August 2017.