Teodoro Obiang wins sixth time period in Equatorial Guinea, turns into world’s longest-serving ruler

Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, confirmed for a sixth time period as president, has dominated oil-rich Equatorial Guinea since August 1979, overseeing a regime infamous for crushing dissent and fearing coups.

The 80-year-old’s 43 years in energy are the longest of any chief dwelling on the earth as we speak, excluding monarchs.

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He took energy from Francisco Macias Nguema, who in 1968 had develop into Equatorial Guinea’s first president after independence from Spain and later declared himself president for all times. Macias – Obiang’s uncle – was executed by firing squad two months after the coup.

Obiang’s opponents say that underneath his iron-fisted, airtight tenure, the nation has develop into “the North Korea of ​​Africa”.

The regime’s ruthlessness is recurrently condemned by human rights watchdogs, who’ve documented mass, arbitrary arrests, dissidents held in nightmarish jail situations and frequent sweeps towards suspected plotters.

In a rustic the place there’s solely a single licensed opposition get together, Obiang workouts virtually complete political management.

In 2016 he was re-elected with 93.7 % of the vote: this time the official end result gave him 94.9 %, with a turnout of 98 %.

Son behind the scenes

Obiang’s son, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, referred to as Teodorin, is extensively seen as his successor and has risen by way of the ranks to the place of Vice President as we speak.

In an interview forward of the 2016 vote, the elder Obiang instructed the French-language newspaper Jeune Afrique that this might be his final time operating.

“I have been in power too long, but the people want me to be their president,” he mentioned.

Requested whether or not Teodorin was given energy, he mentioned: “Equatorial Guinea is not a monarchy… but if he has talent, there is nothing I can do.”

Hypothesis that he would hand over the reins within the upcoming vote gained momentum as his public appearances turned uncommon. However these expectations had been quashed after Teodorin was embroiled in scandals overseas and a conviction in France for ill-gotten features – state belongings acquired illegally.

France, Britain and the USA have ordered him to forfeit tens of millions of {dollars} in belongings, from mansions to luxurious automobiles, whereas France sentenced him to 3 years’ probation and a 30 million euro advantageous.

The storm, which coincided with a drop in oil revenues and the financial blow inflicted by Covid, could have prompted the elder Obiang’s inside circle to discourage management modifications.

The PDGE unanimously selected Obiang as its candidate “because of his charisma, his leadership and his political experience,” Teodorin wrote on Twitter. The get together’s election slogan, extensively seen on posters and state tv, was “continuity”.

Worry of coups

Obiang graduated from army college whereas the nation, like Spanish Guinea, was nonetheless underneath the rule of Spain’s fascist dictator, Normal Francisco Franco.

He then held a sequence of key jobs, together with head of the infamous Black Seaside jail – a spot of “living hell”, within the phrases of Amnesty Worldwide.

His violent path to energy has left a deep worry of coups.

His bodyguard consists of troopers who’re members of his clan, however – for added safety – he has an in depth safety unit mentioned to be Israelis. Zimbabweans and Ugandans have additionally been introduced in to assist guard the presidential palace.

Obiang says he has prevented no less than 10 coup makes an attempt and assassinations throughout his very long time in energy, typically blaming dissidents dwelling in exile or “foreign powers”. Authorities closed the borders forward of the election to thwart suspected plots. Obiang has been buoyed by the invention of oil in territorial waters in mid-1996.

The bonanza has turned Equatorial Guinea into sub-Saharan Africa’s third-richest nation by way of per capita revenue. However wealth could be very inconsistently distributed — four-fifths of the inhabitants of 1.4 million reside under the poverty line, in response to World Financial institution figures for 2006, the newest out there. The nation has a long-established popularity internationally for graft, rating 172 out of 180 nations on Transparency Worldwide’s 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index.


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