Unita veteran defects to form splinter party

Angola's President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has ruled over the southern African country since 1979. AFRICA REVIEW | FILE 

Angola's opposition Unita has been dealt a blow by the defection by a top member to form another party 

Mr Abel Chivukuvuku, 54, formally quit Wednesday to launch his Broad Convergence of Angolan Salvation (CASA) party.

He declared his candidacy for the presidency in the September election, saying the poll would mark the opening of a "new page" in Angolan politics.

“It is my belief that a better life for Angolan people will only be possible with a new direction for the country, a new presidency,” he told his supporters in Luanda.

Lamenting President Jose Eduardo dos Santos' 32-year stranglehold on power, Mr Chivukuvuku, said new leadership would offer Angolans a better life

"I, Abel Chivukuvuku, I'm available. I'm ready,” he declared.

He thanked all his former party-mates for everything they taught him in his 38 years in Unita.

The inaugural congress for the new party is scheduled for April 3 - 4 in Luanda.

Details of the party structures at different levels would be unveiled during the April meeting.

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