Equatorial Guinea: two candidates against Teodoro Obiang in the presidential election

#Other countries : Two candidates will face President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo on November 20 in Equatorial Guinea, who is seeking a 6th term after more than 43 years at the head of this small Central African country which he rules with an iron fist. state television announced on Saturday.

Re-elected in 2016 with more than 93.7% of the vote, Mr. Obiang holds at 80 the world record for longevity in power for a living head of state, excluding monarchies, and Equatorial Guinea, rich in its hydrocarbons, is the one of the most closed and authoritarian states in the world.

The National Electoral Commission (CEN) on Friday closed the candidacy period for the presidential, legislative, senatorial and municipal elections, scheduled for the same day, and officially proclaimed the successful candidates, according to state television, TVGE.

In addition to Mr. Obiang for his all-powerful Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE), the only party in this former Spanish colony until 1991, Andrès Esono Ondo will be the candidate of the Convergence for Social Democracy (CPDS), the only party in opposition which is not banned, and Buenaventura Monsuy Asumu that of the Social Democratic Coalition Party (PCSD), hitherto allied with the PDGE in the legislative and municipal elections.

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The PDGE holds 99 of the 100 seats in the outgoing National Assembly and all 55 seats in the Senate.

For several weeks, the security forces have been waging a ruthless campaign of arrests and imprisonment of opponents on the grounds, according to the regime, that they have foiled a “plot” by the opposition (whose executives mainly live in exile) which planned “attacks” against “petrol stations, Western embassies and the homes of ministers”.

Esono Ondo appears for the first time, Monsuy Asumu for the third. He had been a candidate – a “foil” of the head of state according to the opposition – in 2002, 2009 and 2016, collecting only crumbs.

After the violent arrest of more than 150 activists of the banned Citizens for Innovation (CI) party, including its leader Gabriel Nse Obiang Obono, human rights activists such as Anacleto Micha Ndong Nlang, and a rapper critical of the and very popular, Leoncio Prisco Eko Mba, alias Adjoguening, the Network of Human Rights Defenders in Central Africa (REDHAC), based in Cameroon, denounced in a press release “a wave of repression intended to silence the population (… ) in the run-up to the elections”.

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