List of political parties in Angola

The Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) has ruled Angola since independence in 1975. From 1975 to 1991, it was the sole legally existing party in a political system inspired by the model then practised by the socialist countries of Eastern Europe. Since 1991/1992, a multiparty system exists, where the MPLA has been dominant because of the majority it won in the 1992 parliamentary and presidential elections. In the latter, it failed to obtain the required absolute majority for its candidate, José Eduardo dos Santos, and according to the constitution, a second round would have been necessary. The outbreak of the Angolan Civil War made this impossible, and José Eduardo dos Santos exercised presidential functions without a legal basis. For the same reason, the regular parliamentary elections stipulated by the constitution did not take place, and the parliament elected in 1992 remained in place for 16 years. While large sections of the interior were for years controlled by the armed forces of the rival movement National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) under the leadership of Jonas Savimbi, UNITA's elected MPs were a regular part of the parliament, and for some years a government of national unity, led by the MPLA, also included members from the UNITA as well as from the National Liberation Front of Angola (FNLA), the third movement that had fought the independence war against Portuguese colonial rule.

In total, in 1992 as well as in 2008, the year of the second parliamentary elections, there were more than 120 registered political parties; only a handful had national constituencies, and only a few of them succeeded in having MPs elected for the National Assembly; see Elections in Angola. After any parliamentary elections, all parties that had not succeeded in receiving at least 0,5% of the votes were by law considered as automatically dissolved. Most of them become effectively defunct, while others re-emerge under different names.

Current parties

Parties represented in the National Assembly

Party Founded Leader MPs Political
position
Ideology
MPLA Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola
Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola
1956 João Lourenço
124 / 220
Centre-left
to left-wing
Social democracy
Democratic socialism
Left-wing nationalism
UNITA National Union for the Total Independence of Angola
União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola
1966 Adalberto Costa Júnior
90 / 220
Centre Big tent
Angolan nationalism
PRS Social Renewal Party
Partido de Renovação Social
1990 Eduardo Kuangana
2 / 220
Centre-left Federalism
Progressivism
FNLA National Liberation Front of Angola
Frente Nacional de Libertação de Angola
1961 Ngola Kabangu
2 / 220
Centre-right Civic nationalism
Christian democracy
Conservatism
PHA Humanist Party of Angola
Partido Humanista de Angola
2020 Florbela Malaquias
2 / 220
Centre-left Universal humanism
Feminism

MPLA. UNITA, and FNLA are outcomes of the three nationalist movements that fought the anti-colonial war against Portugal, 1961 to 1974, and then fought each other in the civil war, 1975–2002. While the MPLA became a political party at independence, in 1975, the two others acquired this status in 1991, on the basis of the democratic constitution adopted at that stage. In the 1992 parliamentary elections, the MPLA obtained an absolute majority (53%), but the FNLA, and particularly UNITA, also conquered substantial numbers of seats—keeping the newly formed parties at a distance. However, in the 2008 elections the victory of the MPLA (82%) was overwhelming, so that UNITA (10%) was reduced to the category of a smaller party. Since then, the MPLA won a majority in every parliamentary election, however the majority got smaller with every single election. UNITA on the other hand has over the years risen in popularity and became the biggest opposition to MPLA. In the latest election in 2022 the MPLA (51%) won a majority once again, and UNITA (44%) has remained the second biggest party. All the other parties (PRS, FNLA, PHA) currently represented in parliament got around 1% of the votes.

Other parties

Defunct parties

NB: With the exception of FpD (now refunded as Democratic Forum), these were not organizations constituted as political parties in terms of the 1991 constitution, and thus did not take part in any elections since the first multi-party elections in 1992.

See also

Further reading

A report by Chr. Michelsen Institute on political opposition parties and the 2008 parliamentary elections is a source on Angolan political parties. The study is based on interviews with party officials, newspaper articles and a review of the few reports available on politics and political parties in Angola. Access the CMI report.


This page was last updated at 2024-04-11 03:06 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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