Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, 80, who has ruled Equatorial Guinea with an iron fist for 43 years and whose candidacy remained so far uncertain, will seek a new term in the presidential election in November, said the vice president on Twitter.
“Because of his charisma, his leadership and his political experience (…)”, the ruling party “unanimously elected the militant brother Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo as the candidate who will represent the party in the presidential elections” on November 20, wrote on Twitter the vice-president, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, nicknamed Teodorin, son of the incumbent president.
Mr. Obiang, head of Equatorial Guinea since 1979, holds the world record for longevity in power of living heads of state, excluding monarchies. The only issue at stake in the election was the nomination of the candidate of the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE), which holds 99 of the 100 seats in the outgoing lower house and all 70 seats in the Senate.
The hypothesis that Teodorin, long considered his father’s successor, would take over from him had gained momentum because of his omnipresence on the political scene for the past two years. The all-powerful and feared vice-president in charge of defense, publicly assumed jet-setter and sentenced in 2021 to three years of suspended prison in France within the framework of the business known as “ill-gotten gains”, had finally not been designated candidate to the general surprise.
The Equato-Guineans but also observers and diplomats pointed to a power struggle between Teodorin and some caciques of the regime, reluctant to see the son take the reins of this small but oil rich Central African country.