(Updates with return of Endiama chairman, political situation beginning in third paragraph.)
Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Angola, Africa’s second-largest crude producer, has appointed Manuel Vicente as chairman of the state oil company Sonangol EP for three more years, according to state-owned news agency Angop.
Angop cited a note from the cabinet of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos. Calls to Mena Abrantes, a spokesman for the cabinet, and Rosa Santos, a spokesman for Sonangol, weren’t immediately returned.
Vicente had been mentioned as a possible successor to Dos Santos, who has ruled the southwest African country since 1979. Then Dos Santos, 69, said last month he would be “available” to run in elections scheduled for the third quarter of 2012.
The president’s remark appeared to supersede comments made Sept. 6 by Rui Falcao de Andrade, a spokesman for the ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola, that Dos Santos may step down and be replaced by Vicente. Andrade spoke in a telephone interview from Luanda, the capital.
Vicente has run Sonangol since 1999, according to the company website. Some members of the ruling party have said in local newspapers that Vicente lacks the proper credentials to succeed Dos Santos, such as being a longtime active member of the party who fought against Portuguese colonialism.
The cabinet also returned Antonio Carlos Sumbula as chairman of Endiama EP, the state-owned diamond company, Angop said. It didn’t state his term. Its executive directors are Paulo M’vika, Osvaldo Van Dunem, Luis Quitamba and Fernando Augusto Sebastiao.
Angola was the fourth-largest producer of diamonds by value last year with $976 million, according to data from the Kimberley Process, an organization that works to prevent the sale of conflict diamonds.
The entire Sonangol board also returned, Angop said. They are: Baptista Muhongo Sumbe, Sebastiao Pai Querido Gaspar Martins, Mateus Morais de Brito, Anabela Soares de Brito Fonseca, Fernando Joaquim Roberto and Francisco de Lemos Jose Maria.
--Editors: Richard Stubbe, Charlotte Porter
To contact the reporters on this story: Colin McClelland in Toronto at firstname.lastname@example.org; Candido Mendes in Luanda at email@example.com
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