Government Agreements to facilitate the creation of political parties During Monday, November 10, the participants of the Fifth National Dialogue of Equatorial Guinea worked on the Political Parties Act and its Amendments. To facilitate the creation of new political formations in the country, it was agreed that the deposit of thirty million CFA francs be removed, and to reduce the number of cofounders per electoral constituency, among other measures.

11/11/2014

The day began at about 10 a.m., after the moderator of the Dialogue, Vicente Ehate Tomi (Prime Minister of the Government), reported the return to the talks of some of the groups that had left last Friday; specifically, the representatives of Independent Candidature (CI); Center Right Union (UCD), and National Congress of Equatorial Guinea (CNGE), along with other independents. He also announced that new participants had joined this historic meeting.

The point of the agenda that took up almost the entire day was the Review of the 3/1 Law of 1992 on Political Parties in Equatorial Guinea, and its subsequent amendments. The representatives of various factions and political groups submitted comments and proposals to the content of that law.

Alfonso Nsue Mokuy, of the Democratic Liberal Convention (CLD), stressed the need to regulate Article 12 of this Law, which prohibits having more than one affiliation, in order to normalize certain breaches; for example, it was reported that some militants are accepted in other political parties, even though they still have not returned their militant card.

Tomas Mecheba Fernandez, of the Socialist Party of Equatorial Guinea (PSGE), has presented numerous changes to various sections of this Law, as well as some proposals. Among them, he supported not admitting parties with the same acronym to avoid confusion between the parties. He also requested "less confusing" writing of some articles. Among his requests was the elimination of the deposit of thirty million CFA francs (€45,000), which is required so that any citizen can freely create a party.

The Popular Union (UP) expressed concern over the legalization of excessive political parties, and has appealed to "being realistic" and limit their number, due to the sparse population, according to them, of Equatorial Guinea.

Buenaventura Mosuy Asumu, of the Party of the Democratic Social Coalition (PCSD), on the contrary, indicated its disagreement to that proposal, "because it is undemocratic," and argued the need to improve and facilitate political participation.

Meanwhile, Convergence for Social Democracy (CPDS) submitted their disagreement to the fact that provincial governors can suspend political activities of opposition parties. The Deputy Moderator and Minister of Internal Affairs, Clemente Engonga Nguema, responded to this in the afternoon session, indicating that the governors are only obliged to provide security and prevent any activity that might cause danger or risk to population, whether it is a political event or any other kind.

Also, the independent political groups and activists and non-legalized parties participated prominently. Gabriel Nse Obiang, of Independent Candidature (CI), expressed numerous formal comments on many articles of this law, which have been suitably noted for observation. CI also asked for facilities to give the citizens more space.

Avelino Mocache of Center Right Union (UCD), made reference to Article 14, under which the request for the establishment of a political party should be supported, as co-founders, by at least three individuals of each constituency. According to Mocache, this is the point that most affects them because not all parties have an equal number of supporters in every district: "We do not want the creation of political parties to be limited, it is against the freedom of the citizens."

The session continued in the afternoon when the delegation of the Government, through its spokesman, Antonio Pascual Oko Ebobo, read the Government’s responses to the requests of the different groups.

Apart from the formal and written amendments, accepted almost entirely, Oko Ebobo highlighted the Government's acceptance of some of the proposals to facilitate the creation of new political formations: "The Government, aware that the primary purpose of this meeting is to hold a dialogue and build consensus to facilitate the exercise of political activity in the Country, has been sensitive to these proposals." Among the changes accepted is the change to Article 14, to reduce the need for three co-founders, to just two per district, in order to facilitate that legalization.

Also, the requirement of a deposit of thirty million CFA francs that the parties had to submit was eliminated. "It should be emphasized that at the end of this Dialogue, the Government has decided that all parties meet the requirements set by law to be legalized," also said Oko Ebobo.

To the petition for requesting a provisional authorization to operate as a party while the legalization process is ongoing, the deputy moderator and Minister of Internal Affairs pointed out that at present the registration process of the party until its legalization may take only thirty days, thus showing the futility of this provisional authorization. In his explanation, he discussed the record of two of the groups that have submitted all the necessary paperwork to formalize them.

The changes to the law in general, except for some small disapprovals on some specific points, were accepted by the representatives, both of the legalized formations, as well as the activists present in the dialogue.

During the debate in the afternoon,  Alfonso Nsue Mokuy , also of CLD, expressed discomfort of his party that the governmen t group, the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE), presents "reintegrated" militants (which have changed party), at some festivals.

Also on Monday afternoon, November 10, began the debate on the Law on Demonstrations, with some initial contributions and amendments, although the final development was left for completion on the next day.

Text: Ines Ortega.
Photos: Mansueto Loeri Bomohagasi (D. G. Base Internet).
Equatorial Guinea’s Press and Information Office.

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