MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, May 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Republic of Equatorial Guinea will hold elections on 26 May 2013. Citizens will elect members of a new parliament as well as local council members across the country. For the first time, voters will elect 55 members of a new Senate established in accordance with the constitutional reforms of February 2012. The remaining 15 senators will be appointed by President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. More than 100 candidates for Senate will begin campaigning this Friday for a two-week period prior to election day.
In reference to the upcoming elections, President Obiang stated, "We have celebrated the reform of our constitution and successive municipal, legislative, and presidential elections to form political institutions with the participation of all of our citizens. We welcome this historic upcoming election to bring elected voices into our localities and new Senate."
"As I have stated in the past, we have much more to do in terms of electoral reform. We know our task is not easy and we have a long way to go, because this is about developing a country that started from little. It is about changing mindsets rooted in underdevelopment, and banishing habits that are opposed to modern development, such as tribalism, political opportunism. These elections are part of that change and are about building a strong foundation for our developing and proud nation.
"The U.S. Department of State noted our legislative elections of 2008 were 'peaceful, orderly, and improved.' We are building upon this record.
"We are surprised that international non-governmental organizations have criticized us while we work to improve systems and involve more citizens in the electoral process These organizations have challenged us without offering support or assistance for building our civic society. Our most vocal critics have not even bothered to spend time witnessing our progress or working with our people to make positive change.
"The vast growth and change in Equatorial Guinea is for the Guineans who live in and contribute to Guinea. We are making progress for all of our people."
About Equatorial Guinea
The Republic of Equatorial Guinea (Republica de Guinea Ecuatorial) is the only Spanish-speaking country in Africa, and one of the smallest nations on the continent. In the late-1990s, American companies helped discover the country's oil and natural gas resources, which only within the last five years began contributing to the global energy supply. ="http://www.flickr.com/photos/50152514@N07/" target="_blank">Equatorial Guinea is now working to serve as a pillar of stability and security in its region of West Central Africa. The country hosted the 2011 Summit of the African Union. For more information, visit http://www.guineaecuatorialpress.com.
SOURCE Republic of Equatorial Guinea