Preliminary election results released Monday by the Equatoguinean government showed that the ruling party had won more than 99% of the votes counted so far in the presidential, legislative and municipal elections held on Sunday.
The small, authoritarian, oil-producing Central African state is led by President Teodoro Obiang, the world’s longest-serving head of state, who is seeking to extend his 43-year term in office.
“What you sow is what you reap,” said Obiang, 80, who has consistently won more than 90% of the vote in elections held in five terms since seizing power from his uncle in a presidential election. a coup in 1979.
“I’m sure the victory is for the PDGE,” he said, referring to his party.
Two opposition candidates are in the running: Buenaventura Monsuy Asumu, who has already stood in the last five elections, and Andrés Esono Ondo, who is running for the first time.
Early partial results showed Obiang’s ruling Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE) and his coalition with 67,012 votes out of 67,196 counted so far. The count will continue on Monday, said a statement on the government’s website.
More than 400,000 people have registered to vote in the country of around 1.5 million people, which is split between the island of Bioko in the Gulf of Guinea and a coastal mainland sandwiched between Cameroon and the Gabon.
“It’s a total fraud,” Esono Ondo told Reuters by phone, saying his party would challenge the result in court.
He said a semblance of fair voting was taking place in the island’s capital, Malabo, but his party had evidence that officials elsewhere were voting on behalf of voters or coercing them to vote for the ruling party.
Equatorial Guinea’s government and electoral leadership officials could not be reached for comment.
Maja Bovcon, senior Africa analyst at risk intelligence firm Verisk Maplecroft, said the election outcome was in no doubt: “Border closures and harassment and arrests of opposition supporters have paved the way for Obiang’s 43-year extension. to reign.”
The United States and the European Union called for free and fair elections and expressed concern at reports of harassment and intimidation against opposition and civil society groups. The government has dismissed accusations of interference in its electoral process.
Closing his campaign on Friday, Obiang said he had decided to bring forward the presidential election by several months and hold it at the same time as the legislative and municipal elections, to save money due to the economic crisis.
Oil and gas production accounts for about three-quarters of the OPEC member state’s revenue. But production has declined in recent years to around 93,000 barrels per day (bpd), from around 160,000 bpd in 2015, as oil fields mature.