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Equatorial Guinea went to the polls on the 26th of May 2013 to vote in Senatorial and Legislative elections. Delegations from the African Union (AU) and the Africa Caribbean &Pacific Group (ACP) monitored the elections to ensure that they were free and fair and adhered to democratic values.

A former Spanish colony, Equatorial Guinea is one of the smallest countries in Africa. It struck oil in 1990s, becoming one of Sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest crude oil producers. Despite this oil however, most of its 740,000 people live on less than $1 a day; infant mortality is one of the highest in Africa. The country ranks 68 out of 102 in the 2009 Social Institutions and Gender Index and in the 2011 human development index at 0.537 placing it at 136 out of 187 countries with data.[i]

Electoral System:

Equatorial Guinea formerly had a Unicameral Parliament. In the House of Representatives (Camera de Representantes del pueblo) 100 members are elected through a closed-list proportional representation system to serve 5 year terms. [ii] However, as of the May 26th 2013 elections, Equatorial Guinea now has a Bicameral structure of parliament.[iii] This is following the 2011 referendum when almost 98% of voters approved constitutional reforms establishing a senate, capping presidential terms and creating the post of vice president. Human rights groups have said votes were tampered with, opposition harassed and voters intimidated.[iv] 

May 26 2013 was the first time voters elected 55 members of a new senate established in accordance with the revised Constitution promulgated in February 2012. The remaining 15 seats are to be directly appointed by President Obiang who has been in power since 1979. [v]

Only 2 political parties fielded candidates in these elections independently. The 10 other officially recognized political parties formed an alliance with the ruling PDGE party of the president.

Election Results:

The Equatorial Guinea main opposition movement disputed the election results after the government announced that the ruling PDGE party won 99 of the 100 seats in the Lower House of Assembly and 54 of the 55 seats in the Senate.[vi]

The CPDS (Convergence for Social Democratic Party will be the only opposition party in parliament with one seat in the Lower House and one seat in the Senate. The party rejected the results with Placido Mico the Secretary General of the CPDS party calling them “a total fraud, in total violation of the law”[vii]

 

Women Political Participation:

The current number of women parliamentarians in Equatorial Guinea is 10 out of the 100 members as of the last elections in 2008. [viii]

The government has ratified CEDAW (1984), OP CEDAW (2009), the ACHPR (1986) and also adopted a National Action Plan (NAP) to promote multi-sectorial women and gender equality.[ix]

Antonine Mika Mikue, Counselor of the presidency of government on the advancement of women at the 2013 Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 57) at the United Nations stated that the government created a family court to prosecute gender violence and juvenile offenses and adjudicate marital disputes. [x]

 

Women Political Participation Statistics[xi]

Women’s Representation

As of 2008

As of 2013

Women members of parliament

6/100 (6%)

Not yet available

Women Senate members

N/A

Not yet available

 

 

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