In eight weeks, Equatorial Guinea will experience a new presidential election. The vote was to be held next April. It was brought forward to November 20, at the same time as the legislative and municipal elections. A decision announced this Tuesday, September 20, on behalf of the head of state, Teodoro Obiang Nguema, in power for 43 years and who did not say whether or not he was going to run for a sixth term.
A change of schedule to save money. This is how the decree read Tuesday evening on Equatorial Guinean television justifies the fact that the date of the presidential election is brought forward.
Malabo’s Minister of Information, Virgilio Seriche Riloha, confirms this. Grouping the elections so that they take place on the same day makes sense in a context of global austerity. This reduces organizational costs. But for exiled opponent Severo Moto, as for retired writer and journalist Donato Ndongo-Bydiogo, this announcement of a presidential election earlier than expected must be understood in a context of intense pressure.
Pressure that comes from part of the international community that wants to see President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, 80, in power for the 1979 coup against Francisco Macias Nguema, leaving power soon as part of a peaceful transition.
Who will be the candidate of the PDGE?
But at the last congress of his political formation, the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE), his son, nicknamed Teodorine, was not inducted. And even though he’s billed as the Dolphin, some observers don’t believe his father will leave the power and the immunity that goes with it in two months. International NGOs regularly report cases of arbitrary detention and human rights violations.
Will a new congress be organized in the coming weeks? Who will be the official candidate of the ruling party? ” The party will announce any time “replies the Minister of Information. As a reminder, Teodorin Obiang Nguema, the president’s son, was condemned in France in 2021 to a three-year suspended prison sentence in the context of the so-called ” ill-gotten gains “.
Elsewhere, Equatorial Guinea, which was also under pressure on the issue of the death penalty, announced its abolition earlier this week.