Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Obiang Appoints Government Officials to New Posts

New cabinet and other appointments to be made in line with constitutional reform

Equatorial Guinea’s president, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, has appointed Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, his son who until yesterday was Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, to the position of First Vice President in charge of National Defense and State Security.

He will exercise general oversight over defense and security, the day-to-day management of which will be the responsibility of other ministers.

Holding the office of First Vice President does not place Mr. Nguema first in the order of succession to the presidency. That position is occupied by Ignacio Milam Tang, Equatorial Guinea’s former prime minister, who was appointed to the office of vice-president. The vice-presidency is a new office established under the new constitution.

Vicente Ehate Tomi replaced Mr. Milam Tang as Prime Minister.

Mr. Nguema had resigned his portfolio, as did the rest of Equatorial Guinea’s cabinet, as a formality to give President Obiang a free hand to form a new cabinet under the new constitution. The president will spend the next few days appointing officials to their new positions.

The constitutional reform also called for the creation of new governmental institutions such as the Senate, the State Council and the Council for Economic and Social Development.

Equatorial Guinea’s constitutional reform was approved in a referendum by 97.7 percent of voters November 2011. It aimed to promote government transparency and improve the country’s judicial and executive branches.