The Worlds Longest-serving President Seeks To Extend His 43-year Reign

DAKAR: Equatorial Guinea votes on Sunday in a general election in which President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, the world’s longest-standing president, is expected to extend his 43-year rule.

In the nation of roughly 1.5 million, more than 400,000 people have registered to vote. In addition, voters will choose 55 of the nation’s 70 senators, 100 members of the lower house of parliament, and local mayors.

Nobody who observes expects surprises. In polls whose fairness international observers have questioned in light of ongoing concerns by rights groups about a lack of political freedom, the 80-year-old Obiang has consistently been elected with more than 90% of the vote.

Buenaventura Monsuy Asumu, who is running against Obiang for the sixth time, and Andrés Esono Ondo, who is running for the first time, are his opponents in the race for his sixth term.

Maja Bovcon, senior Africa analyst at risk intelligence firm Verisk Maplecroft, declared that the presidential election “completely lacks suspense.”

She claimed that Obiang’s 43-year rule had been extended by the closing of the borders, harassment of opposition supporters, and arrests of them.

Only two presidents have led Equatorial Guinea since it gained independence from Spain in 1968. In a coup in 1979, Obiang overthrew his uncle Francisco Macias Nguema.

At the conclusion of his campaign on Friday, Obiang stated that the financial crisis led him to decide to move up the presidential election by many months and hold it concurrently with the legislative and municipal elections.

In this OPEC member state, the production of oil and gas is responsible for about three-quarters of all income. However, due to ageing fields, production has decreased in recent years to about 93,000 barrels per day (bpd) from about 160,000 bpd in 2015.

In separate statements, the United States and the European Union urged for a free and fair election and expressed concern over allegations of intimidation and harassment of the opposition and civil society organizations.

The reports were disregarded by the government because it claimed they interfered with its voting process.

Written by Aly Bukshi

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