The government and prime minister of Equatorial Guinea tendered their resignation on Friday to President Teodoro Obiang, who said they had not done enough to help the country at a time of crisis,
According to Reuters reports, the Central African oil producer is suffering a double economic shock linked to the coronavirus pandemic and a drop in the price of crude, which provides around three-quarters of state revenue.
“The head of state regretted that the outgoing government did not fulfil its policy objectives, which undoubtedly led to this crisis situation,” a statement on the government website said.
Obiang, 78, has ruled the former Spanish colony since overthrowing his uncle in a 1979 coup, relying on repression of political opponents and the country’s offshore oil riches.
He dissolved the last government in February 2018, before reappointing Francisco Asue as prime minister, who had served as premier since 2016.
A new government, Reuters revealed, will be announced soon, according to Tutu Alicante, the head of EG Justice, a U.S.-based organisation, working to promote human rights and rule of law in Equatorial Guinea.
According to International Monetary Fund figures, the country’s economy has struggled to recover from a recession caused by a 2014 slump in oil prices and is expected to contract by a further 5.5% this 2020.