Rafael Marques de Morais, renowned Angolan investigative journalist and anti-corruption activist, is one of numerous civil society leaders to express concern about the persistent dominance of the ruling party, which he blames for rampant corruption in the government. On August 25, 2017, Angola’s electoral commission declared João Lourenço, the country’s defense minister and member of the ruling party, winner of the country’s presidential election. After 38 years of rule, President Jose Eduardo dos Santos will now step down; however, he will continue to lead the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) party. MPLA has controlled Angola’s government since 1975.
Last June, the Angolan government charged Marques de Morais with "outrage to a body of sovereignty and injury against public authority," which carries a maximum sentence of six years in prison. The charges stem from Marques’s article in “Maka Angola,” in which he exposed Angolan Attorney General João Maria Moreira de Sousa’s illegal purchase and sale of state-owned land for personal profit. Click here to share our video DemocracyAlert calling upon the Angolan government to drop the charges against Marques de Morais!