Executive authority is vested in the president, his appointed ministers, and the Defense and Security Council. The president is selected as head of the MPLA-PT by the Political Bureau. His authority derives first from his status as head of the MPLA-PT and then from his preeminence in government. President dos Santos, like his predecessor, had wide-ranging powers as the leading figure in politics and the military. He was commander in chief of the armed forces and chairman of the Council of Ministers. He was also empowered to appoint and dismiss a wide variety of national and provincial officials, including military officers and provincial commissioners. The president could also designate an acting president from among the members of the MPLA-PT Political Bureau, but if he died or were disabled, his successor would be chosen by the Central Committee.
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