Friday, June 24, 2011

President Obiang Improves Equatorial Guinea’s Political System

President Pardons and Releases 22 Prisoners

Equatorial Guinea’s President, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, signed a presidential decree last week, granting full pardon to 22 persons, who were convicted last year for State security and conspiracy crimes; the prisoners were released today. President Obiang has taken several steps to improve the political system, such as calling for legal reform and a revision of the constitution. This is an effort by the government to systematically and progressively pursue greater democracy and pluralism as the nation develops.

President Obiang said the decision was taken freely for humanitarian reasons under the Pardon Law that the Fundamental Law confers on him, which states that “the ideals of peaceful coexistence, civility and reconciliation that encouraged the actions and legitimized the change in policy operating in the country since August 3, 1979, are still valid on the activities of the public powers that constitute the foundation of peace, order and harmony prevailing in the country.” He went on to say the benefactors of this pardon know the people of Equatorial Guinea expect them to go through social rehabilitation to ensure a peaceful coexistence and political stability, both essential predications for the development of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.

In March, President Obiang recommended the creation of a Senate, which would convert the nation’s Parliament from a unicameral to a bicameral legislature, and proposed limiting the president to two four-year terms of office.

To read the complete Pardon Decree, please visit