October 7, 2022

Obiang to participate in Equatorial Guinea’s presidential elections

Nairobi, Sept. 23 (EFE).- The President of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang, will run as a candidate of the ruling Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE) in the presidential election on Nov. 20, his son and vice president of the country announced this Friday: Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue.

“Due to his charisma, leadership and political experience, the board of directors of the PDGE has unanimously selected militant Brother Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo as the candidate to represent the party in the presidential elections on November 20,” revealed on the social network Twitter the Vice President and in charge of National Security, known as “Teodorín”.

The President of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema. EFE/Mario Cruz

Doubts about who would be the official candidate in these elections, which will be held at the same time as the parliamentary and municipal elections, have been resolved, according to a presidential decision released by the party this week.

Obiang, 80, maintained his uncertainty during the PDGE’s VII Ordinary National Congress – of which he is the founder – that took place last November.

The president then avoided mentioning the candidate’s name for the election, but declined to speak of “succession” and assured that there would be a “variety” typical of a democracy.

According to analysts, two of his sons stood out as possible alternative candidates, both holding important positions in the government: on the one hand “Teodorín” and on the other Gabriel Mbega Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons in a country that is one of major oil producers in Africa.

Progress of the presidential elections

Although the elections were scheduled to be called in the first quarter of 2023, they were brought forward under the presidential decree to coincide with the other votes.

The head of state justified the advance because of “the current multi-faceted global economic crisis” caused by the fall in fuel prices, the Russian war against Ukraine, the Covid-19 pandemic and the explosions of March 7, 2021 at a military barracks in the continental city of Bata. , which caused more than a hundred deaths.

These circumstances, according to the bill, “affected the downward economic forecasts, in addition to disrupting and destroying the ability of public finances to cope with four consecutive elections in a four-month period.”

The last presidential election was held in April 2016, when Obiang was re-elected with just over 95 percent of the vote, a result marred by allegations of fraud by opposition candidates and the international community.

Since independence from Spain in 1968, Equatorial Guinea has been regarded by human rights organizations as one of the most corrupt and repressive countries in the world, due to allegations of arrest and torture of dissidents and reports of repeated electoral fraud.

Obiang has ruled the country with an iron fist since 1979, when he overthrew his uncle Francisco Macías in a coup d’état, and is currently the longest-serving leader in the world.

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