The world’s longest-serving president will remain in office longer. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, 80, has ruled Equatorial Guinea for 43 years and, according to official results, scored another resounding electoral victory with nearly 95 percent of the vote.
Obiang seized power from his uncle Francisco Macías Nguema in a 1979 coup. Since then, he has consistently come out in droves in elections in the central African country: he achieved his worst result in 2016 with just 93.7 percent of the vote.
As might be expected from results like these, there is much criticism of the country’s lack of democracy. There is hardly any opposition and the press is in the hands of Obiang loyalists. During the poll, a hopeless opposition candidate complained of voter intimidation and fraud.
The country of 1.4 million people became independent from Spain in 1968. Equatorial Guinea is rich in raw materials such as oil and gas, but wealth is disproportionately distributed, resulting in high levels of poverty. Obiang has already survived several coup attempts.
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