Angolan parliament

Among Angola's current predicaments is an extreme centralisation of power. Despite the fact that the civil war has ended, executive authority remains strong. The President controls the government and the ability of the other branches of government to provide checks and balances is very limited. However, an institutionalisation of effective mechanisms of democratic checks and balances is generally considered necessary to prevent the disintegration of democratic practices, and is thus crucial to democratic consolidation. The purpose of this project is to analyse the constitutionally defined powers of the three branches of government in Angola (the executive, legislative and judicial branches), with a particular focus on the Angolan Parliament and its accountability function. First, we will focus on the formal (constitutional and legal) role of the Parliament. We will analyse the parliament's mandate in terms of veto powers, law making authority, budgetary control, and influence on nominations. Furthermore, we will analyse the parliament's formal powers in terms of organisation, structure, financial situation, infrastructure facilities and leadership. Secondly, we will analyse the informal structures of power in order to uncover the factors that condition - positively and negatively - the performance of the Angolan parliament. We will analyse the parliament's capacity and autonomy, its legitimacy and latent restrictive functions, and the party system. Are the less formal institutions, like clientelism and corruption, significant factors? Does the influence of informal networks diminish as formal political institutions take hold, or do they rather increase and "recapture" the formal institutions?