Malabo criticizes Spain, France and the United States for having dispatched diplomats to a campaign meeting of one of the only two opposition movements authorized to present candidates, but which do not weigh heavily against the powerful Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE) of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, which holds 99 of the 100 seats in the outgoing National Assembly and all of the 55 from Senate.
Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who holds the world record for longevity in power for a living head of state – monarchies excepted – is seeking a sixth term at the age of 80.
Equatorial Guinea: from Obiang to Obiang, a last ballot before the succession
According to photos released by the government, Spanish, French and American diplomats attended the meeting of the Convergence for Social Democracy (CPDS), the only opposition party not banned in Equatorial Guinea, where the presidential campaign , legislative, senatorial and municipal was officially opened on Thursday 3 November.
The Head of State will have only two challengers on November 20: Andrès Esono Ondo, of the CPDS, and Buenaventura Monsuy Asumu, candidate of the Social Democratic Coalition Party (PCSD), allied with the PDGE in the previous elections.
Andrés Esono Ondo presents himself for the first time, Buenaventura Monsuy Asumu for the third. He had been a candidate – a “foil” of President Obiang, according to the opposition – in 2002, 2009 and 2016, collecting only crumbs.
Equatorial Guinea: how the Obiang agreed on the presidential election (and the next one)
In a tweet by State Department spokesman Ned Price on Thursday, Washington, “concerned by reports of arrests and harassment of opposition and civil society members,” urged Malabo to organize ” free and fair elections” and encouraged those in power to “promote a more inclusive, peaceful and democratic society by allowing the expression of various political opinions”.
For several weeks, the security forces have been carrying out a campaign of arrests of opponents on the grounds, according to the authorities, that they have foiled a “plot” by the opposition which planned “attacks” against “the stations of gasoline, Western embassies and homes of ministers”.