The results of the presidential elections that were held this Sunday in Equatorial Guinea they could be predicted even before the million and a half citizens went to vote.
The octogenarian president Obiang Nguema has revalidated a new term, the sixth in a row, which will underpin him as the world leader who has been in office for the longest time. 43 years. All this despite reports of repression by the opposition that accuses him of abusing human rights, with torture and disappearances, and coercing freedom of expression.
His son and vice president, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Manguealso known as ‘Teodorín’, has celebrated his father’s triumph. “I am pleased to know that there is a massive participation by the populationwhich demonstrates the political maturity of the people,” he commented on his social networks after issuing his right to vote.
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Obiang’s power in this small country in central Africa is especially relevant as it is the richest nation in oil and where wealth is distributed in the most unequal way. While his population is tremendously poor, the abundance is distributed among the Government.
Although most international specialists accuse the president of being a dictator and of keeping the work of the opposition practically hidden, Obiang tries to clean up his image with elections like thesein which it allows opposition and holds mass rallies.
The lack of freedom of the press (all the media are wholly owned by the government or controlled by its allies) and its authoritarian nature have once again turned these elections into a “pantomime,” according to experts.
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The activist Tutu Alicante, in statements to the news agency Reutersannounced that this Sunday “the people will cast the vote that the government expects, because you cannot freely express what you think in Equatorial Guinea“.
“The opposition has no chance. He is going to do whatever it takes not to leave power,” he added.
The director of the human rights NGO EG Justice added that Obiang’s was one of the “most kleptomaniac” governments in the universe. Staying in power to continue stealing is the main objective.”
For his part, the main adversary in the presidential race, Andres Esono, 61, has accused the Government of committing various irregularities during the elections. In statements collected by TVGE after issuing his right to vote, the opposition leader assured that he had received complaints from all corners of the country.
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“There is fraud, irregularities, public vote… And the table presidents vote for others. The population is not being allowed to vote freely,” he listed about what in his opinion was being “a massive fraud, even worse than in the previous occasions”.
Along with Esono there is another candidate who opposes the current dictator who is Buenaventura Monsuy Asumu, 69 years old. In his case, he has assured that the bus in which his inspectors were going had been “intercepted by the Police, withdrawn and taken to an unknown place.”
But neither the experts nor the clamor of the opposition parties, which accuse him of “fraudulent” elections, have overshadowed the extravagant campaign in which Obiang’s supporters have dressed in flashy suits with the dictator’s face.
The whole familywho holds key government posts in the Obiang government, has gone to vote this Sunday highlighting the “right to universal suffrage”.
“What one sows is what one reaps, I am sure of victory. The party has sown a lot and the people have to continue believing and voting for the Party,” the dictator declared after going to vote with his wife.
The authoritarian character of the leader of Equatorial Guinea goes back to its beginnings. He seized power in the nation with a military coup against his own uncle, Francisco Macias Nguema, who was executed after his nephew came to power.
Since then, obiang He has not let go of the reins despite calling elections like the ones this Sunday, in which he always gets more than 90% of the votes.
In fact, in the 2002 elections, Obiang obtained more than 97% of the votes. Opposition candidates alleged fraud and irregularities. The same thing that happened in 2009 and 2016. And the result has always been the same: Obiang is still in power.
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Not even the age of the dictator seems to be going to stop his mandate. His son is vice president of the country and is in the first position to succeed him. Of course, if that happened, it would not be a reign without controversy either.
‘Teodorin’ Obiang has been fined by a French court for using public money to finance his lavish lifestyle in Europe and America. Something that has led to the confiscation of French assets in his name.
And not only has an open judicial war in England. ‘Teodorín’ has been sanctioned by the United Kingdom in the framework of an anti-corruption campaign in 2021.
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