World’s Longest-Serving President Eyes Re-Election For Record Sixth Term
Equatorial Guinea went to the polls on Sunday, with President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo all-but-certain of winning a record sixth term in a the West African country with next to no opposition.
Obiang, aged 80, has been in power for more than 43 years — the longest tenure of any living head of state today except for monarchs.
A few dozen voters had already queued up when the doors swung open at a polling station set up in a school in Malabo’s Semu district early in the morning.
“Voting is going well. Everything is normal. All citizens have to vote,” fridge repair man Norberto Ondo told AFP.
“I expect this election to bring us prosperity,” the 53-year-old added after dropping his ballot in a box at the Nuestra Senora de Bisila school.
Obiang’s re-election seems virtually assured in one of the most authoritarian and enclosed states in the world.
Running against him is Andres Esono Ondo, 61, from the nation’s only tolerated opposition party.
The secretary general of the Convergence for Social Democracy (CPDS) is a candidate for the first time and the sole representative of the muzzled opposition.
Ondo has said he fears “fraud” during voting to elect the president, senators and members of parliament.
The government has levelled its own accusations against the politician, in 2019 accusing him of planning “a coup in Equatorial Guinea with foreign funding”.
The third candidate is Buenaventura Monsuy Asumu of the Social Democratic Coalition Party (PCSD), a historic ally of Obiang’s ruling party.
The ex-minister is running for the fourth time but has never done well in previous elections. The opposition have called him a “dummy candidate” without a chance.