E Guinea's opposition cries foul

2013-06-04 21:25
Equatorial Guinea President Obiang Nguema.

Equatorial Guinea President Obiang Nguema.

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Dakar - Equatorial Guinea's main opposition movement cried foul on Tuesday after the president's party announced it had won all but two seats in last month's parliamentary election in the tiny oil-rich West African state.

President Teodoro Nguema Obiang's ruling Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE) won 99 of the 100 seats in the lower house of assembly and 54 of 55 senate seats in the 26 May vote, the government said on its website on Saturday.

The Convergence for Social Democracy (CPDS) party will be the only opposition group represented in parliament, with one seat in the lower house and one in the senate.

"These results have nothing to do with the votes people actually cast," Placido Mico, secretary-general of the CPDS, told Reuters. "We completely reject these results ... This is a real fraud, in total violation of the law."

A government spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

Obiang has ruled the former Spanish colony since 1979, when he ousted his uncle in a military coup, making him Africa's longest-serving leader.

An African Union election observers mission said the 26 May vote was carried out peacefully, but noted the lack of national observers and representatives of opposition parties in many voting stations.

On Monday, the United States voiced serious concerns over the election process, pointing to arbitrary detentions, limits on freedoms of assembly and speech, and severely restricted media access for the opposition.

At least four members of the opposition were detained for trying to organise a protest march ahead of the election.

"We urge the government to maintain an open dialogue with opposition parties, and to address the legitimate concerns that they have about this and other electoral issues," the US State Department said in a statement.

Three rights groups - Amnesty International, EG Justice and Human Rights Watch - said before the election the government was not respecting its own laws and the elections were unlikely to be free and fair.

Read more on:    equatorial guinea  |  central africa

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