Angola’s parliament on Friday passed a law that will drastically limit the powers of the country’s future presidents in matters of security and defence.
According to Africa News, the law was supported by a large majority of lawmakers and will only apply to successors of the current head of state, President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who has been in power since 1979.
The new bill indicates that the heads of the army, police and intelligence services will be protected in their posts for eight years, limiting the incoming president’s power to remove them.
It also has clauses in which the powerful officials can only be removed from office if they are of old age or are found guilty of criminal offences.
The policy has sparked controversy in Angola with the opposition accusing outgoing Dos Santos of seeking to retain control of the military after he leaves office.
“It means that the president will not be able to remove them from their posts,” said Andre Mendes de Carvalho, a lawmaker with the opposition CASA-CE party.
He added that a law like this shouldn’t be passed just weeks before the end of a (presidential) term because it will prevent the future president from working effectively.
Angolans will go to the polls on August 23 to choose their new leader.
Dos Santos has decided to step down after 38 years as head of state and will not be contesting in next month’s elections.