Fri. Sep 30th, 2022

Nairobi, September 23 (EFE).- The president of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang, will run as the candidate of the ruling Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE) in the November 20 presidential election, his son and the country’s vice president announced on Friday.

“Due to his charisma, leadership and political experience, PDGE’s executive board has unanimously chosen militant brother Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo as the candidate who will represent the party in the November 20 presidential election,” the social network said on Twitter. Vice President and in charge of National Security, known as “Teodorin”.

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

According to a presidential decree released by the party this week, uncertainty over who will be the official candidate in the elections, which will be held at the same time as the parliamentary and municipal elections, was resolved.

Obiang, 80, maintained his uncertainty during the VII General National Congress of the PDGE – of which he is the founding president – which took place last November.

The President then avoided mentioning the name of the candidate for the election, but refused to say “succession” and assured that the ideal of democracy would be an “alternative”.

According to analysts, two of his sons stand as possible alternative candidates, both in important government positions: on the one hand, “Teodorin” and on the other, Gabriel Mbega Obiang Lima, a country’s Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons. Which is one of the major oil producing countries in Africa.

Ahead of the presidential election

Although the elections were called for the first quarter of 2023, they were brought forward to coincide with other polls as per the presidential decree.

The head of state justified the progress due to the “current multifaceted global economic crisis” caused by the collapse of energy prices, Russia’s war against Ukraine, the Covid-19 pandemic and the March 7, 2021 explosion at a military barracks. The continental city of Bata, which caused more than a hundred deaths.

This situation, according to the legal text, “in addition to distorting and destroying the capacity of public finances to face four consecutive elections in four months, affects the economic forecast downwards.”

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

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

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