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EQUATORIAL GUINEA

The long road to democracy

26 April 2016

 

It came as no surprise to anyone when the president of Equatorial Guinea’s National Electoral Commission made his first announcement of preliminary results following the presidential elections held in that country on Sunday 24 April. With some 10 percent of the votes counted, the results reflected a 99.2 percent in favour of the incumbent President Teodoro Obiang who has ruled the country for the past 37 years. Nobody needs to wait for the final results, which are expected to be released in three days’ time, as the outcome will show little difference. Every previous election held during his tenure has resulted in between 95 and 99 percent in his favour.

The main opposition party, the Convergence for Social Democracy (CPDS), a member party of the Socialist International, along with the coalition of the Democratic Opposition Front (FOD), boycotted the elections, branding them as not credible due to the lack of democratic conditions and the persistent harassment and intimidation of the opposition.

Despite the country’s oil wealth, the people of this small nation continue to suffer widespread poverty, inequality, injustice and lack of opportunity. Opposition forces, such as the CPDS, are stifled and prevented from engaging in the political life of the country. Under these conditions and the resulting repressive environment, elections are strictly controlled, cannot be trusted and cannot be considered democratic.  

Obiang will certainly be declared the winner of these elections, by the president of his National Electoral Commission Clemente Engonga Nguema who at the same time serves as the Interior Minister and First Deputy Prime Minister of his government, thus extending his term in office by another 7 years, until 2023.

For the people of Equatorial Guinea, the long road to democracy continues. Our International stands in solidarity with them, with its member party, the CPDS, and all the other democratic opposition forces striving to make their voices heard. The international community should take notice and the world should heed their call.

 

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