Skip to content
President Obiang, « natural candidate » of the ruling party in 2023

The ruling party in Equatorial Guinea surprised by not choosing its 2023 presidential candidate at its congress, which was held from Monday 22 to Wednesday 24 November. This is a first in this country ruled with an iron fist by its president, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.

The Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE), a single party until 1991, when the government tolerated small satellite or “opposition” movements, held its seventh congress in Bata, the economic capital. This is usually the occasion to nominate one’s candidate for a seven-year term at the head of the country. But to everyone’s surprise, in an evening that lasted until late into the night, no such announcement was made.

Read also « Ill-gotten gains »: Teodorin Obiang, vice-president of Equatorial Guinea, definitively condemned by French justice

Mr. Obiang, who seized power in a coup d’état in 1979, has been clearly withdrawn from the political scene for several months, in favor of his son Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, nicknamed “Teodorin”, 53 years old. The latter, vice-president of the Republic and vice-president of the PDGE, omnipresent in public recently, has long been presented as his dolphin.

A few weeks ago, this jet-setter claimed and posted on social networks, with a sulphurous reputation, condemned in France in the context of the « ill-gotten gains » affair, seemed to have to be appointed in his place. But regime caciques such as Agustin Nze Nfumu, one of the five vice-presidents of the PDGE, presented the current president as  » The man for the job « , suggesting that he was going to continue his function at the head of state.

« It is the person in place who remains »

« Better a well-known friend than a new friend to know », launched the old head of state to his supporters at the opening of the congress on Monday, without giving further details. Mr. Obiang holds, with 42 years, the world record for the longevity of a head of state still alive at the head of a country, except monarchies.

« The natural outcome of this congress is to maintain the status quo, with Teodoro Obiang candidate for a new mandate », had predicted to AFP, just before the congress, Ana Lucia Sa, professor of political science at the University of Lisbon, specialist in Equatorial Guinea. « But there are more and more tensions within the ruling elite to prepare for the post-Teodoro », she had analyzed.

Read also « We have received almost nothing for three years »: Equatorial Guinea facing a shortage of medicines

For the activists who left the Palais des Congrès, the current head of state is still a natural candidate for his succession. « The fact that the son is not nominated as a candidate by the congress simply says that it is the person who is in place who remains », thus assured AFP a cacique of the regime: “The founding president is the natural candidate of the PDGE in the elections. « 

In Equatorial Guinea, a country rich in gas and oil, the vast majority of the 1.3 million inhabitants live below the poverty line, according to the World Bank. Many debates during the congress revolved around the economic crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic.

To not miss anything on African news, subscribe to the newsletter of World Africa from this link. Every Saturday at 6 a.m., find a week of current events and debates treated by the editorial staff of World Africa.

Toutes les actualités du site n'expriment pas le point de vue du site, mais nous transmettons cette actualité automatiquement et la traduisons grâce à une technologie programmatique sur le site et non à partir d'un éditeur humain.