Teodoro Obiang wins a sixth time period in Equatorial Guinea, turning into the longest serving ruler on the planet

Confirmed for a sixth time period as president, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has dominated oil-rich Equatorial Guinea since August 1979, presiding over a regime recognized for its repression of dissent and worry of coups.

His 43 years in energy is the longest of any residing chief on the planet right this moment, apart from royalty.

He seized energy from Francisco Macias Nguema, who in 1968 grew to become the primary president of Equatorial Guinea after independence from Spain, and later declared himself president for all times. Obiang’s uncle, Macías, was executed by firing squad two months after the coup.

Obiang’s opponents say that beneath his tight rule, the nation has grow to be the “North Korea of ​​Africa.”

The regime’s cruelty is often condemned by human rights screens, who’ve documented mass and arbitrary arrests, dissidents held in appalling jail situations, and frequent arrests of suspected conspirators.

In a rustic the place there is just one opposition celebration, Obiang workouts nearly full political management.

In 2016, he was re-elected with 93.7 p.c of the vote: this time, the official outcome gave him 94.9 p.c, down from 98 p.c.

Son within the Wings Obiang’s son, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mango, higher often known as Teodorin, is extensively seen as his successor, and has risen to vice chairman right this moment.

In an interview earlier than the 2016 vote, the older Obiang informed the French-language journal Jeune Afrique that it will be the final time he would run.

“I have been in energy for a very long time, however the individuals need me to be their boss,” he mentioned.

Requested if Teodorin was being groomed for energy, he mentioned: “Equatorial Guinea isn’t a monarchy…but when he has expertise, I can do nothing.”

Hypothesis that he would hand over the reins within the upcoming vote intensified as his public appearances grew to become extra rare. However these expectations had been quashed after Theodorin was lined in scandals overseas and convicted in France of ill-gotten features – illegally acquired state property.

France, Britain and the USA ordered him to confiscate thousands and thousands of {dollars} in property, from mansions to luxurious vehicles, whereas France additionally issued a three-year suspended jail sentence and a superb of 30 million euros.

The storm, which coincided with declining oil revenues and the financial hit attributable to Covid, could have prompted the elder Obiang’s interior circle to advise towards a change of management.

The massive DPP unanimously selected Obiang as its candidate “due to his charisma, management and political expertise,” Teodorin wrote in a tweet. The celebration’s electoral slogan, seen universally on posters and on state tv, was “Continuity”.

Worry of Coups Obiang graduated from army college whereas the nation, like Spanish Guinea, was nonetheless beneath the rule of Spanish fascist dictator Normal Francisco Franco.

He then held a collection of key jobs, together with head of the notorious Black Seaside Penitentiary – a “residing hell” place, within the phrases of Amnesty Worldwide.

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

His bodyguard consists of troopers belonging to his clan, however – for added safety – he has a safety unit close by which are recognized to be Israelis. Zimbabweans and Ugandans have additionally been introduced in to assist guard the presidential palace.

Obiang says he thwarted not less than 10 coup makes an attempt and assassinations throughout his lengthy reign, usually blaming exiled dissidents or “international powers”. Authorities closed the borders earlier than the elections to thwart suspected plotters. Obiang was buoyed by the invention of oil in territorial waters in mid-1996.

Wealth has made Equatorial Guinea the third richest nation in sub-Saharan Africa per capita, however wealth may be very inconsistently distributed – four-fifths of the 1.4 million individuals reside under the poverty line in accordance with World Financial institution figures for 2006, the newest obtainable. The nation has a robust repute internationally for graft, rating 172 out of 180 nations on Transparency Worldwide’s 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index.


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