Angola celebrated the fifth anniversary of its independence from Portugal on November 11, and marked the occasion by opening its first Parliament.
GV Dancers in traditional costume performing in Luanda Squared, Angola. (3 SHOTS)
GV PAN Crowds in square.
GV PAN Crowd standing below monument of armoured FAPLA car ramming South African vehicle.
GV PAN FROM Flags TO schoolchildren lined up in square. (2 SHOTS)
SV Sign signifying anniversary of People's Assembly.
SV Sign depicting Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos.
SV ZOOM IN TO CU President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos speaking to crowd from podium. (2 SHOTS)
GV Crowd listening.
SV Sign reading `Long Live Internationalism and the Proletariat'.
SV Youths carrying banners.
SV President Dos Santos speaking.
SV Schoolchildren applauding. (3 SHOTS)
SV People's Assembly building.
Cu Emblem of independent Angola.
GV INTERIOR Delegates at seats in People's Assembly.
SV Statue of former President Neto in front of Angolan emblem.
SV Delegates taking oath in People's Assembly. (9 SHOTS)
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Background: Angola celebrated the fifth anniversary of its independence from Portugal on November 11, and marked the occasion by opening its first Parliament. The People's Assembly replaces a provisional legislature -- the Council of the Revolution - set up after independence.
SYNOPSIS: Thousands of people attended an anniversary celebration in Luanda's central square. On the same spot five years earlier, former President Agostinho Neto proclaimed Angolan independence, after fifteen years of rebellion against colonial rule. In 1975, the country was bitterly divided as three liberation movements campaigned for different political objectives. When the warring factions formed an alliance Portugal granted independence and a coalition government was formed. But the pact soon collapsed and civil war broke out. President Neto's MPLA party, (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola), backed by Cuba and the Soviet Union, eventually emerged victorious against the other, pro-Western groupings. President Neto, appointed a Marxist government but it faced enormous economic problems. After independence Angola's Portuguese settlers fled, causing a critical shortage of skilled labour. Attacks from outside by South African troops and sabotage by UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola) from within, discouraged foreign investment and created a climate of instability.
Following President Neto's death in September last year, Jose Eduardo Dos Santos took over as interim leader. During a speech at Luanda's anniversary rally, President Dos Santos acknowledged the ruling MPLA workers' party had not achieved all its aims during the first five years of independence. He described some targets set by the Party's first Congress in 1977 as unrealistic and too ambitious, but said the People's Assembly would concentrate on economic issues.
Angola's new Parliament is composed of more than two hundred indirectly-elected members of the MPLA-workers' Party - the country's only legal political movement. On November 11 President Dos Santos formally opened the Assembly and swore in the deputies. He told them the Assembly's creation was part of a process aimed at replacing colonial government structures with a `people's democratic state'. Eighteen provincial legislatures have also been set up and began work on November 11.