Wednesday, September 7, 2011

President Obiang Continues His Advocacy for Constitutional Reforms

Equatorial Guinea Invests Substantially in Infrastructure Projects

Equatorial Guinea President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo concluded his national tour to win support for his proposed constitutional reforms on the island of Bioko, home to the nation’s capital.

In a speech delivered before a capacity crowd at the National Stadium, President Obiang characterized the reform proposals as an effort to systematically and progressively pursue greater democracy and pluralism as the nation develops.

“The reforms reinforce the current Constitution by creating a Senate and Economic Council, which will be responsible for overseeing the way resources are used; and also create the figure of the Ombudsman, who may supervise the performance of judges and members of government; and a National Court of Accounts,” said President Obiang.

He also reminded the crowd that the proposed reforms will limit the term of office for the President to two terms of a maximum of seven years. Currently, the president serves a seven-year term with no limit to the number of terms he can serve.

President Obiang compared the nation’s troubled past, which included slavery, colonization, and eleven years of crushing dictatorship in the period immediately following independence, with its prospects for the future, saying, “Sometimes people think that peace is the absence of war, when there is a lack of military confrontation, but there is another kind of peace that is more important, which is peace of social coexistence. When people do not get the freedom and rights they deserve, people do not live in peace, they live in a social war.”

He challenged each citizen to contribute “his grain of sand to the common good,” and warned that the country will not be able to continue to develop without an environment of social peace.

The president also dedicated several public works projects in the capital city and surrounding area, including potable-water facilities, construction and rehabilitation of the Lampert district, new asphalting of the streets of Malabo, and construction of a Blood Transfusion Center. The government of Equatorial Guinea has substantially invested on infrastructure projects this year.

The reforms were approved in July by the national parliament. Following the nation’s constitution, the reforms must now be approved in a national popular referendum, which is scheduled for the end of the year. The constitutional reforms are part of Equatorial Guinea’s efforts to drive the country to become an emergent and sustainable economy by 2020.