Equatorial Guinea ‘promises to scrap death penalty’

Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, center, stands for the playing of the African Union anthem at the closing session of the 17th African Union Summit, at Sipopo Conference Center, outside Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, Friday, July 1, 2011. Africa's heads of state spent the day behind closed doors on Friday, trying to reach a consensus on what to do with Libya's defiant leader Moammar Gadhafi, whose ouster would be a source of discomfort for the continent's other entrenched rulers.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema has promised to abolish the death penalty so that the country can retain its membership of a group of Portuguese-speaking nations, AFP news agency reports.

Speaking during a visit to Cape Verde, Mr Obiang said the the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) has asked Equatorial Guinea to scrap the death penalty, but he did not want to act unilaterally.

“So my government will soon put this question to parliament, where my party has a majority. I am sure that this proposal will be approved,” he is quoted as saying.

Mr Obiang is Africa’s longest-serving ruler, having seized power in a coup in 1979.

Equatorial Guinea last carried out executions in 2014 – the year the former Spanish colony was granted membership of the CPLP on condition it introduced a series of reforms, including abolishing the death penalty.



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