Therefore, the preparation period for political parties is fewer than four months. The government was given permission by the Congress to combine the presidential election with the legislative and municipal elections.
Congress claimed that given the severe financial restrictions, this was necessary. President Teodoro Mbatsogo, who is 80 years old and has been in power since 1979, is eligible under the constitution to compete for a sixth term, but he has not yet announced his candidacy.
The absence of a free press greatly restricts political opposition, as all broadcast media are either directly owned by the government or under its influence.
After graduating from military school, Obiang held numerous positions under the presidency of his uncle, Francisco Macías Nguema, including director of the notorious Black Beach prison.
He ousted Macías in a 1979 military coup and took control of the country as President and chairman of the Supreme Military Council junta. After the country’s nominal return to civilian rule in 1982, he founded the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE) in 1987 which was the country’s sole legal party until 1992.
He has overseen Equatorial Guinea’s emergence as an important oil producer, beginning in the 1990s. Obiang was Chairperson of the African Union from January 31, 2011 to January 29, 2012.
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