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Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo

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Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo
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Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo

Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo (born June 5, 1942) has been the President of Equatorial Guinea since August 3, 1979.

Born into the Esangui clan in the village of Acoacn, Obiang began his career in the military and attended a prestigious academy in Spain. He achieved the rank of lieutenant upon his uncle Francisco Macas Nguema's election.

Obiang was shuffled through various jobs, including governor of Bioko and leader of the Equatoguinean military. He deposed his uncle on August 3, 1979 in a coup d'tat, and executed him soon after. In October 1979, Obiang officially acquired the title of President and declared that the new government would bring a fresh start from the repressive measures taken by his uncle's administration.

Unfortunately, Obiang now leads one of the most corrupt, ethnocentric, oppressive and anti-democratic states in the world, according to most domestic and international observers. Equatorial Guinea is now essentially a single-party state, dominated by the President's Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE). All but two members of the 100-seat national parliament belong to the PDGE or are aligned with it. The opposition is severely hampered by the lack of a free press as a vehicle for their views.

Obiang was re-elected in December 2002. His government was slammed by the international community for running an election which was widely considered to be unfair and that was also boycotted by most of the opposition.

In July 2003, state-operated radio declared that the president is a God who is "in permanent contact with the Almighty" and can "kill anyone without being called to account." Equatorial Guinea is perhaps the only country in the world to have all of its presidents to date declared God.

In March 2004, Obiang announced that there was a complex plot to overthrow him that allegedly involved the intelligence services of the United States, the United Kingdom and Spain. Shortly after 15 people were arrested in Equatorial Guinea in connection with a possible coup attempt, an airplane landed in Harare, Zimbabwe and was promptly detained by authorities. The Zimbabwean government claimed that the aircraft was carrying armed mercenaries who were heading to Equatorial Guinea with the aim of toppling Obiang's government. However, the American-based operator of the plane maintained that the men were en route to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to guard commercial mining interests. President Obiang charges that various Western governments wanted to install the head of Equatorial Guinea's government-in-exile, Severo Moto Ns, as president. A man that Equatoguinean media identified as the leader of the mercenaries, Nick du Toit, said he had not intended to kill Obiang, but had hoped to force him into exile.

Currently, there is thought to be a political struggle within the Equatoguinean elite. Obiang is believed to be suffering from prostate cancer, and there is no clear successor. One possibility is the president's son, Teodorn Nguema Obiang, who has a frequently irresponsible lifestyle. Someone with loyalty to the regime may be designated by the PDGE from within the Esangui clan. There is even a possibility that fully democratic rule will come to the country for the first time, but this is probably the most unlikely scenario.

References

de:Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo es:Teodoro Obiang Nguema fr:Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo gl:Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo ja:テオドロ・オビアン・ヌゲマ nl:Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo

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