Equatorial Guinea gears up for polls

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Malabo, Equatorial Guinea - Equatorial Guinea has called local and legislative elections for May 26, its prime minister announced in a television interview on Tuesday.

The elections would be the first since 97 percent of voters approved a series of constitutional reforms in a November 2011 referendum.

“Elections will be organised for May 26 and will last one day,” Clemente Engonga Nguema Onguene told leaders of political parties in the interview.

The reforms include putting a cap on presidential terms and creating the job of vice-president. Voters will also pick senators for the first time.

The opposition has criticised the referendum as a sham that would enable long-serving President Teodoro Obiang Nguema to handpick his successor.

The oil-rich Central African country, led by Obiang since 1979, has been trying for a number of years to distance itself from its international image of a dictatorship. - Sapa-AFP


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