Equatorial Guinea 1991 Constitution (reviewed 2012)

Table of Contents

First Title. Fundamental Principles of the State

Article 1

  1. Equatorial Guinea is a sovereign, independent, republican, social and democratic State, in which the supreme values are unity, peace, justice, freedom and equality.
  2. Political pluralism is recognized.
  3. Its official name is: Republic of Equatorial Guinea (República de Guinea Ecuatorial).

Article 2

Sovereignty belongs to the people, who exercise it by way of universal suffrage. From it emanate the public powers that are exercised in the conditions determined by this Fundamental Law and other laws. No fraction of the people or individual shall attribute itself the exercise of National Sovereignty.

Article 3

  1. The territory of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea is comprised of the continental area known as Río Muni and the Bioko, Annobón, Corisco, Elobey Grande, Elobey Chico, Mbañe, Conga, Leva, Cocotero islands and adjacent islets, the fluvial waters, the maritime zone, the continental shelf determined by the Law and the air space that covers them.
  2. Over its territory the State fully exercises its sovereignty and can explore and exploit in an exclusive manner all resources and mineral wealth and hydrocarbons.
  3. The national territory shall be unalienable and irreducible.
  4. For administrative and economic purposes it is divided in Regions, Provinces, Districts, and Municipalities.
  5. The law determines the limits and the denominations of the regions, provinces, districts, and municipalities. Equally, the law determines the space occupied by each of the zones mentioned before.

Article 4

  1. The official languages of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea are Spanish, French, and the ones determined by the Law. Autochthonous languages are recognized as part of the national culture.
  2. The national flag is green, white and red, in three horizontal stripes of equal dimensions and a blue triangle at the extremity closest to the flagpole. The center of the flag is engraved with the seal of the Republic.
  3. The Seal of the Republic is the one established by the Law.
  4. The motto of the Republic is Unity, Peace and Justice.
  5. The national anthem is the one sung by the people on the day of the proclamation of independence on October 12, 1968.

Article 5

The fundamentals of the Equatoguinean society are:

  1. The respect to the human being, his dignity and freedom, and other fundamental rights.
  2. The protection of the Family, the basis of the Equatoguinean society.
  3. The recognition of equality between men and women.
  4. The protection of labor through which man develops its personality of creating wealth for the Nation in favor of social well-being.
  5. The promotion of economic development of the Nation;
  6. The promotion of the social and cultural development of the Equatoguinean citizens to make real in them the supreme values of the State.

Article 6

The State encourages and promotes culture, artistic creation, scientific and technological research and sees to the conservation of nature, cultural heritage of the artistic and historical riches of the Nation.

Article 7

The State defends the sovereignty of the Nation, strengthens its unity and ensures respect of fundamental rights of man and the promotion of the economic, social and cultural progress of its citizens.

Article 8

The Equatoguinean State abides to the principles of International Law and reaffirms its attachment to the rights and obligations that arise from the Organizations and International Organizations to which it is a member.

Article 9

  1. Political parties are political organizations composed by persons that freely associate to participate in the political orientation of the State. They constitute the expression of political pluralism and democracy; they concur to the formation and manifestation of popular will, as fundamental instruments for political participation.
  2. Equatorial Guinea’s political parties may not have identical names as those that pre-existed before October 12, 1968, and shall have national character and scope, thus shall not be based on tribe, ethnicity, region, district, municipality province, gender, religion, social condition nor profession or occupation. A Law will regulate their creation and functioning.

Article 10

The right to strike is recognized and is exercised in accordance with the conditions provided by the law.

Article 11

The citizens, public powers, political parties, unions, associations, and other legal persons are subject to the Fundamental Law and the Judicial Order.

Article 12

  1. The law determines the legal regime applicable to the right of nationality, citizenship and the condition of foreigner.
  2. The majority of age of the Equatoguinean citizen is acquired at the age of 18.

Article 13

  1. Every citizen enjoys the following rights and freedoms.
    1. The respect of his person, life, personal integrity, its dignity and his full material and moral development. The death penalty can only be imposed by a crime established by the law.
    2. To the freedom of expression, thinking, ideas and opinions.
    3. To equality before the law. The woman, irrespective of her civil status, shall have the same rights and opportunities as men in all aspects of public, private and familiar life, in civil, political, economic, social and cultural life.
    4. To free circulation and residence;
    5. To honor and a good reputation;
    6. To freedom of a religion and worship;
    7. To the inviolability of the domicile and the privacy of all communications;
    8. To submit claims and petitions to the authorities;
    9. To the right of habeas corpus and amparo.
    10. To the right of defense before tribunals and to an adversarial process within the framework of the law.
    11. To freedom of association, assembly and manifestation.
    12. To freedom of working.
    13. To not being deprived of their freedom save by virtue of a judicial order, except in those cases provided by the Law and in flagrant crimes.
    14. To be informed of the cause and reasons of their detention.
    15. To be presumed innocent until culpability has not been demonstrated.
    16. To not testify in trial against oneself, or relatives within a fourth degree of consanguinity or second degree of affinity, or to be compelled to declare under oath against oneself in matters that may give rise to criminal responsibility.
    17. To not be judged or condemned twice for the same acts.
    18. To not be condemned without previous trial, nor to be deprived of the right of defense in any state or grade of the process.
    19. To not be punished for an act or omission that in the moment that it took place was not characterized or punished as a criminal infraction; or to not be subjected to a penalty not provided by the law. In case of doubt, the Criminal Law is applied in the sense more favorable to the offender.
  2. On the basis of the principle of equality of the women before the law, the public powers will adopt legal initiatives and mechanisms to favor the adequate representation and participation of the Woman in the performance of offices (cargos) and other functions in all institutions of the State.
  3. The legislative provisions will define the conditions under which these rights and liberties will be exercised.

Article 14

The enumeration of the fundamental rights recognized in this chapter does not exclude those guaranteed by the Fundamental Law, nor others of analogue nature and that are derived from human dignity, from the principle of sovereignty of the people or the social and democratic state of law and the republican form of government.

Article 15

  1. Any act of partiality or discrimination duly found on the basis of tribe, ethnicity, gender, religion, social, political or other analogous motives is punishable by law.
  2. Acts of corruption will also be punished by Law.

Article 16

  1. All Equatoguineans have the obligation to honor the Fatherland, defend its sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity, as well as to contribute to the preservation of peace, national security, and the essential values of the Equatoguinean tradition and to protect national interests.
  2. Military service is mandatory. It will be regulated by the law.

Article 17

All citizens have the right and the obligation to live peacefully in the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, to respect the rights of others and contribute to the formation of a just, fraternal and caring (solidaria) society.

Article 18

All inhabitants of the Republic shall respect Equatorial Guinea, its national symbols, the Head of State, Government, and other institutions legally constituted.

Article 19

  1. The State through the Tax Law, inspired by the basic principles of equality, generality and prosperity, establishes the taxes, encumbrances (gravámenes) and para-fiscal contributions and the special circumstances that concur in each tax type (figura impositiva) for its liquidation.
  2. All legal and physical persons, national or foreign, residents of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea have the obligation to pay taxes [imposed] by law.

Article 20

  1. Every Equatoguinean has the duty to proportionally bear to its contributive faculties the public financial burdens established by the law.
  2. The revenues and expenses of the State and the investment program are written in each financial year in an annual budget made in accordance with the applicable legislation.

Article 21

Every citizen has the duty to respect, to comply and to defend the Fundamental Law and the Nation’s Legal Framework.

Article 22

  1. The State protects the family as the fundamental cell of society, it assures [to it] the moral, cultural and economic conditions that favor the achievement of its objectives.
  2. It also protects every class of matrimony celebrated in accordance with the law, as well as maternity and familiar duties.

Article 23

  1. The State protects the person from its conception and fosters the minor in order for him to develop normally and with security for his moral, mental, and physical integrity, as well as his life within the home.
  2. The State encourages and promotes primary attention to health care as the cornerstone for the development of such sector.

Article 24

  1. Education is the primordial duty of the State. Every citizen has the right to primary education, which is obligatory, free, and guaranteed.
  2. The extent of gratuity of education is established by law.
  3. The State guarantees to every person, private entity or religious community, legally constituted, the right to found schools, provided that they are subject to the official pedagogical plan.
  4. Official education permits the free election of the religious formation program, based on the freedom of conscience and religion protected by this Fundamental Law.
  5. The officially recognized education cannot be oriented to program or propagate an ideological or partisan tendency.

Article 25

The State supports responsible paternity and the appropriate education to promote the family.

Article 26

  1. Work is a right and social duty. The State recognizes its constructive role in improving the well-being and the development of its national wealth. The State promotes the economical and social conditions to eradicate poverty, misery and ensures to all the citizens of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea with equality the possibilities of a useful occupation that allows them not to be threatened by necessity.
  2. The law will define the conditions for the exercise of this right.

Article 27

  1. The economic system of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea is based on the principle of free markets and free enterprise.
  2. The law regulates the exercise of these freedoms in accordance with the requirements of economic and social development.
  3. The State protects, guarantees, and controls the investment of foreign capital that contributes to the development of the State.

Article 28

The economy of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea works through four basic sectors:

  1. The public sector, comprised by companies exclusively owned by the State, constituted mainly for the exploitation of resources and services enumerated under Article 29 of this Fundamental Law, as well as for any other economic activities.
  2. The sector of mixed economy, integrated by companies of public capital in association with private capital.
  3. The cooperative sector, which property and management belongs to the community of people that permanently work on them. The State dictates laws for the regulation and development of this sector;
  4. The private sector, integrated by companies owned by one or more physical or legal persons of private law and, in general, by companies that do not fall under the sectors enumerated above.

Article 29

  1. The following are resources and services reserved to the public sector:
    1. The minerals and hydrocarbons.
    2. The services of provision of potable water and electricity.
    3. The mail services, telecommunications and transportation.
    4. Radio diffusion and television.
    5. Others determined by the law.
  2. The State may delegate, concede or associate with private initiative for the development of any of the activities or services mentioned above, in the form and cases that the law establishes.

Article 30

  1. The State recognizes property of public and private character.
  2. The right of property is guaranteed and protected without any limitations other than those established in the law.
  3. Property is inviolate, no person shall be deprived of his assets and rights, except for causes of public utility and upon the corresponded compensation.
  4. The State guarantees to farmers the traditional property of the lands that they possess.
  5. The law will determine the legal regime of the assets of the public domain.
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