The world’s longest-reigning leader is about to take on a new job after 43 years in power

Dr. Ken Atchity

Equatorial Guinea’s government released primary election results on Monday, showing that the ruling party won more than 99% of the vote in Sunday’s presidential, parliamentary and local elections.

The small, autocratic Central African oil-producing nation is led by the world’s longest-serving head of state, President Teodoro Obiang, who is seeking to extend his 43-year term.

“You reap what you sow,” said 80-year-old Obiang, who has won more than 90 percent of the vote for five terms since replacing his brother in 1979.

“I believe the victory belongs to the PDGE,” he said, referring to his team.

The opposition has two candidates: Bueventura Monsui Assum, who has contested in the last five elections, and Andres Esono Ondo, the first candidate.

The first part of the results showed that the ruling Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE) had formed a coalition with 67,012 of the previous 67,196 votes. A statement published on the government website said vote counting would resume on Monday.

More than 400,000 people are registered in the country of about 1.5 million people, located between the island of Bioko in the Gulf of Guinea and the coastal land between Cameroon and Gabon.

It was a total fraud,” Esono Ondo told Reuters by phone, adding that the party would challenge the results in court.

He said there had been some fair voting in the capital, Malabo, but there was evidence that party officials favored voters elsewhere or forced them to vote for the ruling party.

There was no consultation with the Equatorial Guinean government and election office officials.

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Maja Bovkon, senior Africa analyst at intelligence firm Verisk Maplecroft, said the election results were clear:

“Border closures, repression and arrests of opposition supporters have paved the way. give Obiang an extension of 43 years in power”.

The United States and the European Union called for free and fair elections and expressed concern about reports of harassment and intimidation against the opposition and civil society. The government denies the allegations and says it interfered in the election process.

Wrapping up his campaign on Friday, Obiang said he decided to postpone the presidential election for several months and hold the presidential and local elections at the same time to save money amid the crisis. economy.

Oil and gas production accounts for about three-quarters of the income of OPEC member countries. But production has fallen in recent years from about 160,000 bpd to 93,000 bpd in 2015 as the fields mature.