Equatorial Guinea president eyes re-election

Equitorial Guinea

Image Source: Bloomberg

The president of Equatorial Guinea has been in charge for 43 years and is running for a fourth term in office.

President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who is 80 years old, has been in charge of a government that is said to have tortured people and made them disappear.

There are a few opposition candidates, but they probably won’t win.

Because his family members work in important government jobs, the president has a strong hold on the oil-rich country.

His son, Teodoro “Teodorin” Nguema Obiang Mangue, is the country’s Vice President. He has lived well in the US and Europe, and officials in the UK say he has a pricey glove with crystals that Michael Jackson used to have.

When there is no free press, and the government or its allies own all broadcast media, it is hard for people to disagree with the government.

People think President Obiang is trying to improve his reputation worldwide because he has denied rights violations and rigged elections in the past. The government got rid of the death penalty in September, which the UN liked.

Weaponization of Poverty

Since 1979, when he took power in a military coup, President Obiang has been in charge of the oil-rich country in West Africa. Francisco Macias Nguema, his uncle, ran the country before him. When he took over, he made some changes, but Nguema was still in charge.

In the end, he put Nguema to death. While he was in charge, thousands of people died, and many left Equatorial Guinea.

Professor Sá said President Obiang has stayed in power because he knows “the rules of the political game.” Sá said that the country’s poor state is also a “political weapon” for him.

She also said, “Electoral laws were made to ensure Obiang will never lose power.”

Some people say that the country’s previous elections were not fair. Officials said President Obiang got more than 97% of the votes in the presidential election in December 2002. Candidates from the other parties dropped out of the race, saying that fraud and other problems had happened.

The same people were elected in both 2009 and 2016.

After France fined his son Teodorin Obiang for using public money to pay for a lavish lifestyle there. It also accused the government of corruption. Since then, French authorities took away Mr. Obiang’s property in France.

In its fight against corruption, the UK put the vice president on a list of people to avoid in 2021. The vice president is the best person to take over for his father.

Obiang says he hasn’t done anything wrong. Some people have also said President Obiang is corrupt, which he has always denied.

People have signed up in over 300,000 groups to vote in the election on Sunday.

About Equatorial Guinea

In 1968, Spanish Guinea became the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, and elected Francisco Macias Nguema president.

Rights groups say that the two presidents of the country, Francisco Macias Nguema and Teodoro Obiang Nguema, are the worst people in Africa at breaking people’s rights.

People who spoke Spanish, French, and Portuguese found a lot of oil in 1996. But most of the country’s 1.4 million people are still poor, so this hasn’t helped.

Opinions expressed by San Francisco contributors are their own.