“The presidential, Chamber of Deputies, Senate and municipal elections are convened on November 20, 2022”, according to a decree by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo read Tuesday, September 20 during the evening news of state television.
The main issue in the election lies in the nomination of the candidate of the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE), who occupies 99 of the 100 seats in the outgoing lower house and all of the 70 seats in the Senate. : Will the 80-year-old head of state stand for a new term or will he let his son Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, known as Teodorin, succeed him?
Equatorial Guinea: between Obiang father and son, the succession that does not pass
The latter, all-powerful and feared Vice-President in charge of Defense, has long been considered his father’s heir apparent and has been omnipresent on the political scene for two years. But the PDGE congress, which was to induct him as a candidate in November 2021, ultimately did not do so, to everyone’s surprise.
Two months before the election, Equatorial Guineans – but also observers and diplomats – are wondering today who will win between Teodorin and the regime’s caciques, who take a dim view of the son at the head of this country rich in its hydrocarbons and push the father to re-enlist. The outcome of the legislative elections is hardly in doubt, as with every election: the PDGE should leave only a few crumbs to opposition movements.
There’s a ten months, the party congress gave rise to unprecedented quarrels between the supporters of Teodorin, sentenced in 2021 to three years in prison suspended in France in the context of the so-called “ill-gotten gains” cases, and his father, president since 1979, when he overthrew his uncle, Francisco Macías Nguema.
The anticipation of the presidential election was officially justified by the need to consolidate costly polls in the midst of an economic crisis, due in particular to “the war in Ukraine” and the “Covid pandemic”. But observers see it rather as the desire of one of the two camps to push what it believes to be its advantage.
On Monday, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who holds the world record for longevity in power of heads of state still alive, excluding monarchies, abolished the death penalty. Its power is nonetheless regularly accused by international NGOs and Western capitals of flouting the rights humans.