The government of Angola confirmed for the first time on Monday that 74 year old President dos Santos, who has been leading the country for the last 38 years, is in Spain for treatment.
Foreign Minister Georges Chikoti on a French radio interview admitted that dos Santos has been unwell for some time now.
He however refused to confirm local media reports of a stroke. “You know that there are moments in everyone’s lives when we don’t feel well. But he is fine. He is in Spain but will return when he is better. The president has regular checkups in Spain so it’s perfectly normal for him to be there.” Chikoti said.
Dos Santos left the country at the start of May for what was officially billed as a private, two week overseas visit. His failure to return fueled speculation about his health, including reports where a number of websites reported he had died.
Angola is expected to hold general elections on August 23. 74 year-old Dos Santos is likely to be replaced by defense minister Joao Lorenco, 63. However, Dos Santos will remain the leader of the ruling party MPLA party.