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Constitution of Equatorial Guinea (1991, rev. 1995)

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3Preamble

4We, the people of Equatorial Guinea, conscious of our responsibility before God and history;

5Driven by the will to safeguard our independence, organize and consolidate our national unity;

6Desirous of upholding the authoritic African spirit of family and community set-up adapted to the new social and legal structures of the modern world;

7Conscious of the fact that the charismatic authority of the traditional family is the foundation of the Equato-Guinean Society;

8Firmly support the principles of social justice and solemnly reaffirm our attachment to the mental freedoms enshrined in the universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948;

9By virtue of these principles and the free determination of the people;

10Adopt the following Constitution of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.

11PART ONE. Fundamental Principles of the State

12Article 1

13Equatorial Guinea shall be a sovereign, independent, republican, unitary, social and democratic state, its supreme values shall be unity, peace, justice, freedom and equality.

14Multipartism shall be recognized.

15Its official appellation shall be: THE REPUBLIC OF EQUATORIAL GUINEA.

16Article 2

17National sovereignty shall be vested in the people who shall exercise same through election by universal suffrage. Likewise, the duties of the authorities responsible for the management of the state shall be determined by the supreme law and others. No section of the people or any individual shall arrogate to itself or to himself the exercise thereof.

18Article 3

19The territory of Equatorial Guinea shall comprise: the main land zone known as Río Muni; the Island of Bioko, Annobón, Corisco, Elobey Grande and Elobey Chico; the adjacent Islets; the fluvial waters; the maritime zone and the continental platform which shall be determined by the law and air space covered.

20The State shall fully exercise its sovereignty and shall be reserved the exclusive rights to explore and exploit all mineral resources and hydrocarbons.

21The national territory shall be unalienable and invincible.

22The State shall (for administrative and economic purposes) be divided into regions, provinces, districts and municipalities.

23The law shall delimit and denominate the regions, provinces, districts and municipalities. It shall equally determine the space to be occupied by each zone.

24Article 4

25The official language of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea shall be Spanish. Aboriginal languages shall be recognized as an integral part of its national culture.

26Its flag shall be three equal horizontal stripes of green, white and red charged with a blue triangle at the extremity close to the flagpole. Its shield shall be engraved in the center of the flag.

27Its shield shall establish the law.

28Its motto shall be: UNITY, PEACE, AND JUSTICE.

29Its national anthem shall be the hymn dedicated to the fatherland on October 12, 1968, day of its proclamation of independence.

30Article 5

31The principles that shall govern the Equato-Guinean society shall be:

32 a.The respect of individual, his dignity, freedom and other fundamental rights;

33 b.The protection of the family, the basis of the Equato-Guinean society;

34 c.The recognition of all rights and gender equality;

35 d.The protection of labor;

36 e.The promotion of the economic development of the nation;

37 f.The promotion of the social and cultural development of all Equato-Guineans.

38Article 6

39The State shall encourage and promote culture, the arts and scientific and technological research, and shall ensure the conservation of nature, the cultural heritage and the artistic and historical riches of its nations.

40Article 7

41The State shall define the sovereignty of its nation, strengthen its unity and ensure the respect of fundamental rights and the promotion of the economic, social and cultural progress of its citizens.

42Article 8

43The State shall endeavor to follow the principles of international law and shall reaffirm its attachment to the rights and obligations enshrined in the characters of international organizations and bodies of which it shall be member.

44Article 9

45Political parties shall be integral political organizations of persons who shall associate freely to participate in the political orientation of the State. They shall represent multipartism and democracy, and shall thus express popular will as the basis of any political participation.

46Its political parties shall not be allowed to have appellations similar to those that existed before October 12, 1968; their ambitions and perspectives shall have to be nationalistic and shall therefore, not be based on tribe, ethnic inclinations, religion, gender, district, municipality, social condition or profession. The law shall regulate their creations and functioning.

47Article 10

48The right to unemployment shall be recognized and exercised as stipulated by the law.

49Article 11

50Citizens, public authorities, political parties, trade be subject to the fundamental laws and legal provisions.

51Article 12

52The law shall determine the legal system that shall apply to the right to nationality, citizenship and the condition of foreigners.

53Article 13

54Every citizen shall enjoy the following rights and freedoms:

55 a.The respect of his person, life, integrity and physical and moral dignity. Capital punishment shall only be applied for crimes condemned by the law;

56 b.Freedom of expression;

57 c.Equality before the law. Women, irrespective of their civil status, shall have the same rights and opportunities as her male counterpart at the political, economic, social and cultural levels, and at all levels of life; public, private or family;

58 d.Freedom of movement and residence;

59 e.Honour and good reputation;

60 f.Freedom of religion and worship;

61 g.The inviolability of the home and the privacy of all correspondence;

62 h.The submission of petitions to the state;

63 i.The right to speak;

64 j.The right to a fair hearing before the courts;

65 k.Freedom of association, of assembly and the right to strike;

66 l.Freedom of employment;

67 m.The deprival of liberty except in the cases and according to the manner determined by law;

68 n.The right to hear the charges levied on him;

69 o.The right to presume innocence until found guilty during hearing;

70 p.No person shall arrogate to himself the right to do justice;

71 q.Shall not be judged or condemned twice for the same offence;

72 r.Shall not be condemned without proof, nor deprived of the right to defense;

73 s.Shall not be punished for an act or omission.

74Legislative provisions shall establish conditions under which these rights and liberties shall be exercised.

75Article 14

76The fundamental rights recognized in this chapter shall not exclude those guaranteed by the Fundamental Law, nor the others, which enunciate human dignity, the principle of sovereignty of the people or the social and democratic state of law and the republican form of government.

77Article 15

78All acts of partiality or discrimination committed on the basis of tribe, gender, religion, and corruption and other or same shall be punishable by law.

79Article 16

80All Equato-Guineans shall have the obligation to honor the fatherland and defend its sovereignty, its territorial integrity and national unity, factors which contribute to the peace, national security and traditional Equato-Guinean values and protect national interests.

81Military services shall be obligatory for all and shall be regulated by law.

82Article 17

83All Equato-Guineans shall have the obligation to live peaceful, respect the rights and obligations and contribute to the building of a just and fraternal society.

84Article 18

85All Equato-Guineans shall respect the State, its national anthem, its Head of State, its government and the institutions legally instituted.

86Article 19

87Every citizen shall pay taxes according to his revenues.

88The expenses and revenues of the State and the investment programs shall be registered in each financial year within the annual budget elaborated in accordance with the legislation in force.

89Article 20

90Every citizen shall have the obligation to respect and defend the Fundamental Law.

91Article 21

92The State shall ensure the protection of the family as the foundation of the society and shall secure the moral, cultural and economic conditions favorable to the achievement of objectives.

93It shall equally protect every matrimonial class.

94The traditional family heritage shall be unalienable as determined by the law.

95Article 22

96The State shall ensure the protection of every person from birth, and foster his normal development and ensure his security for his moral, psychological and physical integration as well as his family life.

97It shall encourage and promote primary health care as the cornerstone of the development of this sector.

98Article 23

99Education shall be primordial to the State. Every person shall have the right to primary education people shall have the right to primary education which is obligatory and free.

100Free education shall be instituted by law.

101The State shall guarantee to every person, private body or religious institution the right to found schools provided he or it subjects oriented toward the official pedagogical plan.

102Official education shall freely allow the institution of religious education, which is protected by the Constitution.

103Education that shall be officially recognized may not orientate a program or propagate ideological or partisan tendencies.

104Article 24

105The State shall protect responsible paternity and ensure appropriate education to promote the family.

106Article 25

107Work shall be a right and social obligation. The State shall recognize its role in improving on the well-being and development of its national resources conditions to eradicate poverty, misery and ensure the equal occupation of its national territory and shield its citizens from need.

108The law shall define the conditions under which this right shall be exercised.

109Article 26

110Its economic system shall be based on the principle of free exchange and the freedom of enterprise.

111The law shall regulate the exercise of this freedom that should conform with the exigencies of economic and social development.

112The State shall protect, guarantee and control foreign investment which contributes to the development of its nation.

113Article 27

114Its economy shall function under main sectors:

115 a.The public sector comprising state-owned companies and mainly constituted of the exploitation of resources and services enumerated under article 28 of the Fundamental Law as well as other economic activities;

116 b.The mix economic sector which integrates public and private capital for enterprises;

117 c.The cooperative sector owned and managed by a community of persons working in these cooperatives. The State shall dictate the laws regulating and developing this sector;

118 d.The private sector, which integrates companies owned by one or more physical persons or corporate bodies with private rights and, more generally, companies that do not fall under the sectors mentioned above.

119Article 28

120The resources and services reserved to the public sector shall be:

121 a.Mines and hydrocarbons;

122 b.Services in charge of distributing water and electricity;

123 c.Post, telecommunications and transport services;

124 d.Radio and television;

125 e.And others determined by the law.

126The State may delegate, concede or associate with a private body to develop any activity or service mentioned above in conformity with the law.

127Article 29

128The State shall recognize public and private ownership.

129The right of ownership shall be guaranteed and protected as stipulated by the law in force.

130Ownership shall be inviolate, no person shall be deprived of his property and rights except in the case of public utility and upon compensation.

131The State shall guarantee to farmers ownership of their lands.

132The law shall determine the legality of public property.

133PART TWO

134Chapter I. Powers and Organs of the State

135Article 30

136State power shall be exercised by the President of the Republic, the Ministerial Council, the House of Commons, the Judiciary, and other organs instituted in compliance with the Constitution.

137Chapter II. The President of the Republic

138Article 31

139The President of the Republic shall be the Head of State; he shall be the symbol of national unity and shall represent the Nation. He shall be elected by a relative majority of the votes cast through direct, equal and secret universal suffrage.

140The law shall determine the conditions of the electoral process.

141Article 32

142The person of the Head of State shall be inviolate and the law shall define his privileges and immunity during his term of office.

143Article 33

144The following requirements shall have to be fulfilled to become President of the Republic:

145 a.Be an Equato-Guinean by birth;

146 b.Enjoy civic rights;

147 c.Live in the country since 5 years;

148 d.Be capable of interpreting the Constitution;

149 e.Be elected in accordance with the Constitution and other laws;

150 f.Have between the ages of 40 and 75 years;

151 g.Not have another nationality.

152Article 34

153The President of the Republic shall be elected for a term of office of 7 (seven) years renewable.

154Presidential elections shall be announced on the seventh year of the term of office of the President of the Republic at a date set by decree and adopted by the Ministerial Council.

155The elections shall be held 40 days before the expiry of the term of office of the President of the Republic or later, but within 70 days after the announcement of the date.

156Article 35

157The President of the Republic shall, upon election, be sworn in 30 days after the proclamation of results, and shall take the oath of office before the August presence of members of parliament and the Supreme Court meeting in solemn session.

158Where the winner of the elections belongs to a political party with a minority in the assembly, the President of the Republic appoints a new government.

159Article 36

160The President of the Republic shall determine the politics of the nation, arbitrate and model the normal functioning of all institutions of the state. His authority shall extend over the national territory.

161Article 37

162The President shall exercise statutory authority in the Ministerial Council.

163Article 38

164The President of the Republic shall sanction and promulgate laws as provided by the Constitution. He shall exercise the right to veto as provided under article 79 of the Constitution.

165Article 39

166The President of the Republic shall equally exercise the following:

167 a.Guarantee the strict implementation of the constitution, the functioning of state institutions and continuity of the state.

168 b.Convene and preside over the Ministerial Council.

169 c.Dictate in the Ministerial Council the decrees and laws as provided under article 64-i) of the present Constitution.

170 d.He shall head the Armed Forces. The President of the Republic shall guarantee the security of the state beyond the frontiers.

171 e.He shall declare war and conclude peace.

172 f.He shall appoint the Prime Minister as provided by the Constitution.

173 f-bis.He shall ratify the decision of Parliament on its elections and president, as well as other members of the bureau in conformity with the constitution and the by-laws of the Assembly.

174 g.He shall appoint and revoke high civil and military officials and may delegate the Prime Minister to appoint other civil and military officials.

175 h.He shall negotiate ratify international treaties and agreements in accordance with the Constitution.

176 i.He shall represent Equatorial Guinea in international relations, receiving and accrediting Ambassadors, and shall authorize Consuls in the performance of their duties.

177 j.He shall confer the decorations and honorary distinctions of the Republic.

178 k.He shall exercise the right of clemency.

179 l.He shall convene general elections as provided by the Constitution.

180 m.He may call for a referendum in accordance with this Fundamental Law.

181 n.He shall approve, in conjuration with the Ministerial Council, the national development plan.

182 o.He shall have the right to dissolve the parliament as provided by the present constitution.

183 p.He shall exercise the other attributions and prerogatives provided by the law.

184Article 40

185The President of the Republic shall be the head of the Armed Forces to ensure the territorial integrity of the nation and the maintenance of law and order.

186Article 41

187Where circumstances so warrant, the President of the Republic may declare a state of siege by decree and suspend the constitution for a maximum period of three months and take exceptional measures to safeguard the nation’s assets. The deadline of three months may be prolonged where the situation remains dangerous.

188Article 42

1891. The President of the Republic may, where circumstances so warrant, declare a state of emergency and inform the Parliament.

1902. The President shall determine the effects, territorial limits and duration of the state of emergency or the state of siege.

1913. The law regulates the state of siege and its relevant competence and limit.

1924. He shall not dissolve the Assembly except under the conditions mentioned above.

1935. He may suspend the constitution in the event of terrorist attacks or muting and sentence those involved according to the gravity of the situation.

194Article 43

1951. The President may end his functions in the event of:

196 a.Resignation

197 b.Expiry of term of office

198 c.Permanent physical or mental invalidity

199 d.Death

2002. In the event of vacancy of the Presidency for reasons a), c) and d), a college comprising the President of Parliament, who presides over it, the Prime Minister, the President of the Supreme Court and a member of the Constitutional Council designated by its president shall ensure the interim management of the State.

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