Saturday, October 29, 2011

Equatorial Guinea Launches National Campaign For Constitutional Reforms

Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue Urges Citizens to Vote

The Republic of Equatorial Guinea today launched a national campaign to urge citizens to approve a package of proposed constitutional reforms. The referendum will take place on November 13.

Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue was elected National Director of the campaign by the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE), Equatorial Guinea’s majority party. Minister Nguema, who holds the vice-presidency of the PDGE, led the campaign launch efforts in Conference Center Banapa in Malabo, the nation’s capital.

The reforms are intended to increase government transparency, create a bicameral legislature, limit presidential terms and expand representational democracy will be voted on in referendum on November 13, 2011.

“The new constitutional reforms will preserve democracy and will make Equatorial Guinea a better country. Let’s help drive the country toward a better future together as a united nation,” said Minister Nguema. “These reforms will improve our country’s representation within a democratic framework.”

Mr. Nguema, who is also Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, has travelled throughout the country on a campaign to build awareness and support for the constitutional reform package and encourage all citizens to vote in the upcoming referendum.

“These are very important reforms for improving political, social and economic rights. Voting ‘yes’ is voting towards progress and development in Equatorial Guinea and a better future for all,” said Minister Nguema.

The constitutional reforms, proposed by President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, include a proposal to create a Senate, which would convert the nation’s parliament from a unicameral to a bicameral legislature. The reforms would establish the office of vice-president and limit the president to two seven-year terms of office. The changes would also institute oversight bodies to improve the effectiveness of the economy and create Court of Auditors to oversee government programs, contracts and expenditures. A proposed National Ombudsman (Defensor del Pueblo) would give citizens increased access to appeal matters before the government.

Citizens in districts throughout the country caucused to revise and propose changes to the nation’s constitutional and fundamental law. Both government officials and political opposition parties urged Equatoguineans to take a stand and vote on the proposed constitution reforms.