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Equatorial Guinea's Cabinet Resigns


Equatorial Guinea's cabinet has resigned Friday following months of criticism from the country's president.

Prime Minister Miguel Abia Biteo Borico handed in his resignation to President Teodoro Obiang Nguema in a ceremony at the presidential palace.

In a televised address, the prime minister told the people of Equatorial Guinea he hoped his cabinet's resignation would allow the president to pick a new team that would inject momentum and energy into governing the country.

President Obiang has yet to name a replacement.

The government had been in place since June 2004, but Mr. Obiang has recently been criticizing it for its unsatisfactory performance in the health and education sectors.

Mr. Obiang has ruled Equatorial Guinea since 1979, after taking power from his uncle in a coup.

The country is Africa's third biggest oil exporter, but despite its oil wealth, most people remain poor, according to the United Nations Development Program. The president has said oil revenues are a state secret.

Mr. Obiang was re-elected in 1998 and 2002 in elections widely viewed as flawed. He won both elections with 98 percent of the vote.

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