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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Joao Lourenco officially sworn in as Angola new president       

LUANDA Angola (Xinhua) -- Joao Lourenco was sworn in as Angola’s new president on Tuesday, taking over from the longtime leader Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

The inauguration ceremony was held at Luanda’s Republic Square, attended by 1,000 national and foreign guests, including 30 heads of state and government.

Lourenco, 63, and the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) became the winners of the August 23 general elections, winning 61 percent of the votes.

Among the dignitaries are the heads of state of South Africa, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Namibia, Cote d’Ivoire, Rwanda, Portugal and Zambia, Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Gabon and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s special envoy Chen Yuan also attended the inauguration ceremony.

Under the Angolan constitution, the president is the head of state, executive power and commander in chief of the armed forces.

Also sworn in at the ceremony was Vice President Bornito de Sousa.

While attending the ceremony, Speaker of the National Assembly, Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos, praised the legacy of the former president Dos Santos, who ruled the country for 38 years before deciding to step down and not run for this year’s election.

The speaker said September 26 was a historic day marking a peaceful transition and that the new president will receive the full support of the Angolans.

Lourenco is the third president of Angola, which achieved independence in 1975 from Portugal.

He succeeded Dos Santos, who took the lead in 1979 after the death of the first president Antonio Agostinho Neto.

           

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