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Angolan opposition demand party leader's resignation

By AFP

LUANDA (AFP) - Leaders of Angola's main opposition UNITA, the Union for the Total Independence of Angola, have demanded the immediate resignation of their president, according to a statement received by AFP on Saturday.

The group accused Isaias Samakuva, whose second mandate ended in 2007, of preventing the holding of a party congress which elects its head every four years.

Spokesman for the group, Alberto Katenge, said the 24 leading party officials had misgivings about Samakuva's excuses that the party was facing "financial difficulties" and could not afford to hold the congress.

"There is no freedom of expression in UNITA. Samakuva does not accept criticism. He uses ... intimidation, verbal and physical attacks against those who oppose his ideas," said the group.

"Samakuva has lost legitimacy, the confidence of members as well as the moral honesty to lead the organisation of the next congress."

However, party spokesman Alcides Sakala said certain people with hidden agendas wanted to denigrate the image of UNITA and its leader when general elections were approaching.

Samakuva has led UNITA for eight years and replaced Jonas Savimbi at the party's ninth congress in 2003.

© 2011 AFP

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