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A summary of the Constitutional Reform Project – posted by www.equatorialguineaonline.com

posted by www.equatorialguineaonline.com

After the tour that the President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo conducted throughout the country to explain the Constitutional Reform that will be voted on in an upcoming referendum; we publish a summary that shows the political evolution pursued in the country in recent years, with the advent of democracy and the multiparty system. The approach of the proposed changes for the future involve very important developments, such as presidential term limits.

Politics are not static, but dynamic at all times, according to the President of the Republic, Head of State and founding chairman of the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea since he assumed leadership of the country in 1979. Thereafter, he embarked on the responsibility of conducting the historical destiny of a demoralized country, deviated from the ethical principles of social and political coexistence, divided into antagonistic groups and, above all, a country without political principles of citizen participation.
In view of these facts, the statement to the nation on August 3, 1979, condemned this disastrous situation and undertook to take the necessary action to recover the morality and responsibility of the people of Equatorial Guinea.

The first internal reforms that tried to be introduced to achieve these objectives encountered some resistance groups. Since then, this reform program has continued to evolve, taking into account the dynamism of the life of the nation. These reforms include promoting a political and economic environment of freedom and trust between people, government and the different political forces in the nation, respecting the current legislation, consensus and solidarity of all political actors to protect the interests of the people.

Those reforms began with the creation of village councils, which have now evolved to neighborhood communities and urban districts as administrative representation of the popular will. A base which could constitute, at the time, elective representative bodies: the Village Councils and the House of People’s Representatives in the absence, then, of political parties.

With no internal pressure, the political party that was the pioneer of democracy in the country began to organize in 1986: the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE), whose main slogan was to do good and avoid evil. The Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea, founded by H.E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, was determined to initiate political pluralism in the country in 1991. In this regard, it has given impetus to political discipline, governance and good relations between political parties, with the signing of the National Binding Pact. This process of constant innovation is what has been called “Equatorial Guinea’s Democratic Experiment” because the life of the nation is dynamic and requires constant innovation that must comply with the social reality of each moment. In fact, not only have political reforms been introduced in the country, but also economic, social and cultural reforms.

And to continue with the reforms already underway in a reinforced manner since 2008, the President of the Republic and current President of the African Union, H.E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, announced in Cape Town (South Africa) in June of last year, the introduction of reforms in the nation’s legal system and financial and administrative management to provide greater legal coverage and effectiveness in the management of the State and its citizens. The Head of State of Equatorial Guinea renewed this determination at the Conference on the Future of Africa, held in Geneva (Switzerland).

Within this context, and to proceed to the in-depth study of our Fundamental Law, the President met last March 24 at the People’s Palace of Malabo with all the leaders and representatives of the democratic opposing political parties in the country, announcing that these reforms are reasonable, because they increase people’s capacity to participate in the management and administration of public affairs, and because they allow  transparent and controlled action by the bodies of State, its  authorities and officials.

After the study of these reforms, conducted over ten days in the city of San Antonio de Palea -provincial capital of Annobón- and after its presentation at the national Parliament, the President has carried out a tour that has taken him all over the country to inform people of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea to the criteria, political, economic and administrative principles that will govern the nation with the new political reforms, if the people ratify it by referendum.

In short, it should be emphasized that the reforms offer no advantage to existing institutions or to individuals who embody them. Basically it involves a change of regime of a mixed parliamentary government to a pure presidentialist regime, which gives more responsibility to the President of the Republic, to avoid the conflicts that are often created by governments of parliamentarian or cohabitation regimes.

It is, moreover, to shorten the time that a president can stay in power, to further facilitate alternation and expand the bodies that increase the percentage of representation of the people in the bicameral Parliament and Senate.

Other key reforms involve the creation of new bodies of control and discipline of actions, such as the Council of the Republic, the National Council for Social and Economic Development, the Court of Auditors and the Ombudsman that, as can be observed, contribute to transparent action.

And after touring successfully the eighteen districts throughout the country, informing people about the profound wish to introduce reforms in the country’s Constitution, the President of the Republic has returned confident that, with the same determination and spirit of patriotism, the people will support this reform for the welfare and prosperity of the people of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.

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