Equitorial Guinea leader promotes son

2012-05-22 22:05

Dakar - Equatorial Guinea President Teodor Obiang Nguema has promoted his farm minister son - wanted in France for alleged money laundering - to vice president in charge of national defence and state security, a government statement said on Tuesday.

The promotion was part of a cabinet reshuffle and reform of the constitution which critics of the oil-rich Central African state believe is aimed at ensuring a future handover of power to Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, widely known as "Teodorin".

An initial statement on the government website described Teodorin's new post as deputy prime minister, but the page later gave his function as "First Vice President in charge of National Defence and State Security".

The US-based PR company employed by Equatorial Guinea confirmed the latter title as the correct one.

"This move allows President Obiang to increase Teodorin's standing and experience in the government, and could very well represent a stepping stone for Teodorin to eventually assume the presidency," said Joseph Kraus, programme and development director at Equatorial Guinea-focused rights group EGJustice.

Ignacio Milam Tang, who has been prime minister since 2009, was appointed to a similar-sounding new role of "Vice President of the Nation".

A French prosecutor last month approved an investigator's request for an international arrest warrant for Teodorin over suspicions he had bought real estate in France with public money embezzled from Equatorial Guinea.

Teodorin has denied wrongdoing and says his huge wealth - which has allowed him to purchase luxury real estate in Paris and Malibu, a private jet and a stable of exotic sports cars - was amassed legitimately through successful business dealings.

French investigators seized the sports cars last September, but a US judge ruled last month that prosecutors there would need to come up with more proof of wrongdoing to seize certain of his US assets.

Lawyers for Teodorin have warned France the legal action could hurt trade and diplomatic ties between the two countries.

The 69-year-old Obiang has been in power for 33 years. Despite the country's oil wealth, much of the population lives in poverty and it was ranked among "the worst of the worst" civil liberty abusers in democracy group Freedom House's 2011 survey.

"The move by President Obiang to elevate his son to an even higher post, despite the pending international arrest warrant against Teodorin on corruption charges, is yet another sign that Equatorial Guinea suffers under unaccountable leadership," said Lisa Misol of Human Rights Watch.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have also condemned Equatorial Guinea's leadership for the jailing earlier this month of a member of the political opposition, Wenceslao Mansogo Alo.

Read more on:    equatorial guinea  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News
 

10 most expensive cars In the world

This is car porn at its best!

 
 

Luxury living

Seven of the most expensive children's toys ever made
5 millionaires turned murderers
The youngest billionaires in the world and how they made it
Watch: Flying first class has never been this luxurious!
Traffic Alerts
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a restless need for action and you may go overboard and fill your day with too many things in the need to be recognised...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.