World's longest-serving president seeks yet another term in Equatorial Guinea

© AFP - SAMUEL OBIANG

Equatorial Guineans go to the polls on Sunday as President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, the world’s longest-serving president, looks for another mandate in a country considered one of the most repressive in the world.

Obiang, 80, has been at the helm at the oil-rich state for the past 43 years, after taking power from his uncle in a coup d’état in 1979.

His victory in the polls would mark a sixth term.

Official results of past elections said that Obiang received more than 90 percent of the vote.

Human rights groups contend that the media is muzzled and protests are banned in the country of 1.5 million people, most of whom live in dire poverty.

The Spanish-speaking country gained its independence from Spain in 1968, and has had only Obiang’s uncle, Francisco Macias, and Obiang himself as rulers.

Oil rich

About 75 percent of Equatorial Guinea’s GDP comes from its oil output. While originally producing 160,000 barrels per day, the number has recently dropped to 93,000.

Despite the oil, most Equatorial Guineans live in poverty, with little access to healthcare and education.

Obiang is known for his flashy lifestyle. His son, Vice President Teodorin Nguema Obiang Mangue, has inherited his expensive tastes, with a penchant for luxury cars and Michael Jackson memorabilia.

Father and son deny any wrongdoing.

Election tensions

Obiang's contenders in Sunday's vote include Andres Esono Ondo and Buenaventura Monsuy Asumu.


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