Equatorial Guinea President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has been traveling the country speaking to citizens about proposed constitutional reforms. The national parliament approved the reforms in July. By the nation’s constitution, they must now be approved in a national popular referendum, which is scheduled for the end of the year.
President Obiang has characterized the reform proposals as an effort by the government to systematically and progressively pursue greater democracy and pluralism as the nation develops.
“The main purpose of the constitutional reforms is to create broader opportunities for citizens to participate in the management of the country. The reforms will benefit the entire population,” he said.
The proposed constitutional reforms include the creation of a Senate, which would convert the nation’s parliament from a unicameral to a bicameral legislature. They would also limit the president to two five-year terms of office. Currently, the president serves a seven-year term with no limit to the number of terms he can serve. President Obiang proposed the presidential term limits in a meeting last March with representatives of the country’s legally constituted political parties.
Other institutions to be created by constitutional reform are a National Court of Accounts to supervise and audit the activities of the government, a Council of the Republic and an Economic and Social Council.
While visiting the districts of Bata Cogo, Mbini, Niefang, Evinayon and Akurinam during the presidential national tour, President Obiang inaugurated several infrastructure projects to better serve the nation. The constitutional reforms are part of Equatorial Guinea’s efforts to drive the country to become an emergent and sustainable economy by 2020.