Nairobi, September 23 (EFE).- The President of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang, will stand as the candidate of the ruling Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE) in the presidential elections on November 20, his son and vice president of the country has announced this Friday Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue.

“Due to his charisma, leadership and political experience, the PDGE executive office has unanimously chosen the militant brother Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo as the candidate who will represent the party in the presidential elections of November 20,” revealed on the social network Twitter the Vice President and Head of National Security, known as “Teodorín”.

The President of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema. EFE/Mario Cruz

Doubts about who would be the official candidate for these elections, which will be held at the same time as the legislative and municipal elections, have thus been removed, according to a presidential decree published this week by the party.

Obiang, 80, maintained his uncertainty during the VII Ordinary National Congress of the PDGE – of which he is the founding president – which was held last November.

The president then avoided specifying the name of the candidate for the elections, but refused to speak of “succession” and assured that there would be a typical “alternation” of a democracy.

According to analysts, two of his sons presented themselves as possible alternative candidates, both occupying important positions in the government: on the one hand, “Teodorín” and, on the other, Gabriel Mbega Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons in a country that is one of the main oil producers in Africa.

Advance of presidential elections

Although the elections were to be called in the first quarter of 2023, they were brought forward to coincide with other votes, according to the presidential decree.

The Head of State justified this advance by “the current multifaceted global economic crisis” caused by the fall in fuel prices, Russia’s war against Ukraine, the covid-19 pandemic and the explosions of March 7 2021 in a military barracks in the mainland city of Bata, which left more than a hundred dead.

These circumstances, according to the text of the law, “affected the economic forecasts downwards, in addition to distorting and destroying the capacity of public finances to face four successive elections over a period of four months”.

The last presidential election took place in April 2016, when Obiang won re-election with just over 95% of the vote, a result marred by allegations of fraud by opposition candidates and the international community.

Since its independence from Spain in 1968, Equatorial Guinea has been considered by human rights organizations to be one of the most corrupt and repressive countries in the world, due to accusations of arrests and torture of dissidents and reports of repeated electoral fraud.

Obiang has ruled the country with an iron fist since 1979, when he overthrew his uncle Francisco Macías in a coup, and is currently the world’s longest-serving leader.

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