Since João Lourenço was elected president in 2017, Angolans have wondered about his relationship with his predecessor, José Eduardo dos Santos.
JES, as he’s commonly called locally, has ruled Angola from 1979 to 2017, when João Lourenço was chosen to occupy the ruling MPLA’s number one position. As the MPLA won a majority of 150 seats in that year’s elections, Lourenço automatically became president. In September 2018, Lourenço became the leader of the MPLA as well.
While on a visit to Portugal in November 2018, João Lourenço told in a interview with weekly newspaper Expresso that JES (he’s commonly called in Angola by the acronym) that he found the country’s coffers empty when he took over.