Veteran Leader On Course For Equatorial Guinea Poll Win

Votes are being counted in Equatorial Guinea where President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo is set to extend his 43-year rule.

Preliminary results on the presidential election show that 80-year-old leader has received the majority of votes counted so far.

But the Convergence for Social Democracy (CPDS) party – one of only two opposition parties allowed to compete in the polls – has claimed flagrant and rampant irregularities that have plagued past elections.

The final results are expected later on Monday.

A diminished pool of opponents – many of whom are in exile – guarantees Mr Obiang a landslide victory, while the ruling party is expected to retain its commanding majority in the legislature.

Media restrictions and the repression of opposition marred the otherwise peaceful election.

A surprise decision to hold elections early was criticised, leading to a deadly raid by security forces on an opposition leader’s home in September.

Mr Obiang seized power in a military coup in 1979 when he overthrew his uncle who was serving as president.

He was widely speculated to hand over power to his son, Vice-President Teodorin Obiang Nguema, who is embroiled in numerous corruption scandals abroad.