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Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea gets new Prime Minister

afrol News, 9 July - Ignacio Milam Tang, until now Equatoguinean Ambassador in Spain, has been named new Prime Minister of Equatorial Guinea, according to government sources in Malabo. He replaces what the President has called the "worst government ever" in the country.

"In response to the circumstances surrounding His Excellency Ignacio Milam Tang, I hereby appoint him Prime Minister and head of government, with political and legal effect from today," says a brief press release by the Presidency of Equatorial Guinea dated yesterday.

Mr Milam Tang has served as Ambassador in Spain since the 29 September 2005. Until then, he had held several ministerial portfolios in the Malabo government, including Justice, the General Secretariat of the Presidency and Agriculture.

The Madrid-based Association of Democratic Solidarity with Equatorial Guinea (Asodegue) in a statement today said that Mr "Milam Tang is known for his positions in favour of Spain. He is an advocate of maintaining and strengthening relations with our country." Spain is the former colonial power of Equatorial Guinea, but has during the last decade strengthened ties with France and the US at the cost of relations with Spain.

The same sources added that Mr "Milam Tang is a person with little power within the regime and his appointment (an outsider to much of Equatoguinean day-to-day politics) could be the first indication that President [Teodoro Nguema] Obiang intends to dispense with at least part of the political leaders of the PDGE," in reference to the ruling Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea.

Ignacio Milam Tang is replacing outgoing Prime Minister Ricardo Mangue Obama, who on 4 July submitted his resignation to President Obiang, both for himself as Prime Minister and for his entire government. The Equatoguinean characterised PM Mangué's team as "one of the worst governments ever formed," adding that the team "has not done their work as they should have."

The former Prime Minister in his resignation expressed regret over "not having been able to comply with all the wishes of his Excellency the President" when it comes to achieving "a developed and prosperous country."

Real powers in Equatorial Guinea are totally pinned in the Malabo presidency, which in practical terms fully controls budgets, day-to-day politics and lawmaking. President Obiang nevertheless has tried to distance himself increasingly from governments in an attempt to place responsibility for failures with the Prime Minister.

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