04 December 2009

Now All He Needs Is For Jimmy Carter To Certify The Election

BBC: Equatorial Guinea President Obiang 'wins 95% of vote'

President Teodor Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea has been re-elected with 95% of the votes cast in last month's election, official results say.

The main opposition candidate has already said he will not accept the results, saying the poll was rigged. Placido Mico Abogo gained just 3.6% of the vote in the oil-rich state.

President Obiang first seized power from his uncle in 1979. He gained 97% of the vote in the previous election, in 2002.

Equatorial Guinea's vast earnings from oil and gas should give its population of 600,000 people a theoretical income of $37,00o a year each. But most Equatorial Guineans live in poverty after 15 years of plentiful oil production. It is Africa's third largest oil producer.

The BBC's correspondent in the region, Caspar Leighton, says the leader of the opposition is not alone in judging the election to be flawed. The electoral roll will not be published and the country's electoral commission is run by President Obiang's interior minister. Human rights groups also said the vote was unlikely to have been free and fair.

Human Rights Watch describes Equatorial Guinea's government as one of the most abusive and corrupt in the world.

But international investors remain firmly attached to the oil and gas wealth of this tiny African nation.

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