After ruling for 37 years, Africa’s second-longest serving president Jose Eduardo dos Santos of Angola has revealed that he will not seek re-election in polls due to be held next year, a ruling party document showed on Friday.
It was widely assumed that Dos Santos would run for another term in office.
Joao Lourenco, the defence minister and vice president of the ruling MPLA party, was approved by its key decision-making body as its standard bearer to succeed Dos Santos after the president proposed him a day earlier.
President Dos Santos has been President of Angola since 1979, four years after the country attained its liberation.
The ruling party on Thursday also moved to dispel rumours circulating in social media that Dos Santos was ill, saying they were untrue.