Angola seeks returns of looted funds

The civil society will participate in the discussion of the Draft Law on Repatriation of Financial Resources Domiciled Abroad” and the “Draft-Law on Extraordinary Financial Assets Regulation”, with a view to finding consensus for the final document, Angolan News Agency has reported.

The Draft Law on Repatriation of Financial Resources Domiciled Abroad has been submitted through an initiative of the ruling MPLA, whereas the Draft-Law on Extraordinary Financial Assets Regulation (RERP) was proposed by the largest opposition party, UNITA.

ANGOP has learnt that a final decision on the mentioned proposals must be reached by May this year.

UNITA was the first party to submit to the National Assembly (Parliament) a juridical proposal on this issue (Angolan state moneys illegally sent and kept outside the country).

The proposal presented by the governing MPLA party outlines that those Angolan moneys kept abroad in an illegal manner can be repatriated without the authorities questioning the “owners” about the origins of the financial resources and also leaving other possible assets untouched (such as property).

In the proposal submitted by UNITA, however, the moneys kept abroad in an illegal manner can be repatriated and formalised in the country, but each person or institution in such situation must declare the total of assets (financial, property ect) being kept abroad, over which the Angolan state must apply a 45 per cent tax.

Speaking to ANGOP, last Monday, in the end of a Conference of Parliamentary Whips, held in the premises of the National Assembly, UNITA whip, Adalberto da Costa Júnior, defended that this is an opportune moment to take this discussion to the civil society, having into account the great expectation being created around the issue.

He appealed to the government for flexibility and openness in the negotiations for the content of the final document, having into account the strong public interest permeating the issue.

On his turn, the MPLA whip, Salomão Xirimbimbi, admitted that the two draft-laws do have diverging points, reason why his party backs the extending of the discussions on the issue to the civil society.

The CASA-CE coalition whip, André Mendes de Carvalho, also defends that the two draft documents must be analysed by the civil society in view of the diverging points of the proposals.

Meanwhile, the Conference of Parliamentary Whips also analysed the Bill on the Penal Code (which would give independent Angola its first Penal Code) that is intended to replace the legal tool inherited from the colonial period.

The discussions on the Penal Code Bill have been halted due to the controversy regarding exceptional situations that can justify abortion (such as pregnancy through rape), with many sections of the civil society (churches for example) not agreeing with such stipulation, defending, instead, a full prohibition of abortion.

The parliamentarians have also agreed that the issue must be taken to a broader public debate.

The Conference of Parliamentary Whips was chaired by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos.

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