The request by the Government regarding the ratification of the African Charter for Democracy, Elections and Governability, was presented on Tuesday 25th April by the Deputy Minister for the Interior and Local Corporations Marcelino Asumu Nsue Okomo, during his appearance before the Permanent Commission on Foreign Policy, overseen by Teresa Efua Asangono.
As this was the first activity in the Upper Chamber since the death of senator Hamidou Boyto Obiang Ada, a minute’s silence was held in his memory, followed by the report presented by the Deputy Minister, Marcelino Asumu Nsue Okomo, who set out the reasons why the Government was requesting ratification by Parliament, in the event, for the African Charter for Democracy, Elections and Governability, which was adopted at the Conference of Heads of State and of Governments of the African Union, in its eighth ordinary session, which took place in Addis Abeba (Ethiopia), on 30th January 2007.
This African Charter has the main aim of promoting the adhesion of each State to the universal values and principles of democracy and respect for human rights; to prohibit, reject and condemn any anti-constitutional change of Government in all member States as a serious threat to stability, peace, security and development; and the promote best practice in the organisation of elections, for the purposes of political stability, among others.
In articles 3 and 4, it points out the importance of good governability, participation by the population, the Rule of Law, and human rights, as essential elements for the consolidation of pluralist democracy in States.
The reservations presented by senator A�ngel Serafin Seriche Dougan Malabo were the object of intense, profound debate. Seriche Dougan, in article 7 of the document with respect to a call on States to provide the resources necessary to strengthen the bodies within the union, affirmed that with the payment of the contribution towards the annual budget it is not necessary to provide additional or extraordinary resources.
With regards to article 17, concerning the creation and strengthening of national, independent and impartial electoral organs charged with electoral management, he considers that the National Electoral Board of Equatorial Guinea, the electoral regulatory body, is impartial and brings together all the political and social opinions which intervene in the country’s elections.
Batho Obama Nsua Mengue presented his reservations to articles 23, 24, 25 and 26, as he understood that, according to the charter, the electoral law, the associating national pact, and the act from the National Dialogue Table signed by the Government and the legalised political parties, political players in the diaspora, and political players from the country, in the case of conflicts and differences of opinion, must prioritise dialogue and compromise between the various players affected, for the sake of keeping the peace, harmony and national cohesion.
Following the senators’ debate, directed towards improving the document which was the object of the ratification, the members of the Permanent Commission for Foreign Policy put it to the vote, and it returned 28 votes in favour and two against, and thus the document was adopted by the commission.
Source: Official Web Page of the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea