VOA Hosts Angola Election Debate

The candidates running against Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos held a lively election debate Friday on a special two-hour edition of VOA’s popular radio call-in program Angola Fala Só.

The candidates, Isaisas Samakuva (UNITA), Eduardo Kwangana (PRS), Lucas Ngonda (FNLA) and Abel Chivukuvuku (CASA-CE), participated by telephone from Angola, and responded to questions from the audience.

All of the candidates expressed frustration about what they described as shortcomings in the election campaign, and regret that the ruling party did not take part in the debate.  VOA extended an invitation to incumbent President José Eduardo dos Santos, but the ruling party declined to participate in the forum.

The head of the party that wins this fall’s parliamentary election will be Angola’s next president.  The debate, broadcast live from the VOA studios in Washington, was moderated by Luis Ribas, the host of Angola Fala Só.

The popular weekly call-in program first went on the air in 2011.  Produced by VOA’s Portuguese to Africa Service, the show can be heard around the country on shortwave and AM radio and on demand on the service’s website.  Listeners call or text their questions.

“Today’s show gave Angolans around the country a chance to hear firsthand what the presidential candidates have to say, and to ask them direct questions,” says Portuguese Service Chief, Ana Guedes.  “It was,” she adds, “an opportunity that has not been available on state controlled media.”

The program provides a nationwide platform for audience members to express themselves freely and hear the opinions of prominent guests.  “VOA is a mandatory reference for everybody who wants to be informed in Angola,” said one comment on the show’s Facebook page.

In addition to radio broadcasts, VOA programs to Angola can be heard on mobile, the Portuguese Service website, and social media sites.

For more information about this release contact Kyle King at the VOA Public Relations office in Washington at (202) 203-4959 or kking@voanews.com.  For more about VOA visit www.insidevoa.com, or the main VOA English website site at www.voanews.com.

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