Equatorial Guinea government resigns

By: AFP      Published: 02:20 AM, 15 Aug, 2020
Equatorial Guinea government resigns
President Teodoro Obiang Nguema regretted that the outgoing government had not fulfilled its duties.–File Photo

The government of Equatorial Guinea in central Africa on Friday handed in its resignation as the economic crisis worsened by the coronavirus pandemic took its toll.

President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, who has ruled with an iron fist for four decades, regretted that "the outgoing government had not fulfilled its duties or achieved its planned objectives".

A small oil-dependent country, Equatorial Guinea is especially hard hit by the economic crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

The government handed its resignation to the president during an emergency cabinet meeting, the government said in a statement.

"The government has obliged itself to take tough measures to compensate for its possible insolvency," the president said without elaborating.

The head of the outgoing government, prime minister Pascual Obama Asue, said the "confidence of the head of state deserves sacrifices".

In February 2018, the president dissolved the government before re-appointing the prime minister and the three deputy premiers to their posts. Obama Asue has been premier since June 2016.

The new government is expected to be announced in the next few days by President Obiang Nguema, 78. Seizing power in Equatorial Guinea 41 years ago, he is the longest serving head of state -- not counting monarchs -- in the world.