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US voices ‘serious doubts’ over Equatorial Guinea vote



Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo speaks after casting his ballot in the November 20 elections that he won but which were marred by charges of systematic irregularities.
Photo: Samuel OBIANG / AFP
Source: AFP

The US government on Tuesday expressed “serious doubts” about the legitimacy of the re-election, officially by a landslide, of Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.

In power since 1979, Obiang was re-elected in the Central African oil country which he rules with an iron fist and in the face of a muzzled opposition, according to official results announced on Saturday.

“Given the scale of irregularities observed and the announced results giving the [president’s party] PDGE 94.9 percent of the vote, we have serious doubts about the credibility of the announced results,” said State Department spokesman Ned Price.

The November 20 election was marred by “credible allegations of significant election-related irregularities, including documented instances of fraud, intimidation, and coercion,” said Price in a statement.

“We urge Equatoguinean authorities … to fully address these credible allegations of voter fraud,” he added.

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With more than 43 years at the helm, Obiang holds the record for longest-serving head of state outside of a monarchy. The 80-year-old patriarch leads one of the most closed and authoritarian regimes in the world.

Source: AFP

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