Equatorial Guinea. In November, the ruling party PDGE
(Equatorial Guinea's Democratic Party) won a grand victory
in the parliamentary elections. As in previous elections,
there were allegations of harassment and cheating. The
Internet was shut down during Election Day. In the lower
house, PDGE and its allies won 99 out of 100 seats. The
opposition party CI (Independent candidates) was given a
mandate. In the upper house, the Senate, the government side
got all 75 seats.
In October, a French court sentenced Vice President
Teodorin Obiang to three years' conditional imprisonment and
a fine of € 30 million for bribery and looting of the
Treasury. The court decided that French authorities would
keep a luxury yacht, a collection of cars and a property at
one of Paris's most expensive addresses seized. The
48-year-old did not participate in the process and would
appeal, his lawyer announced. Theodorin is the son of
Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, who has
ruled since 1979.
Countryaah.com, Equatorial Guinea granted asylum to Gambia's longtime
leader Yahya Jammeh in January. The choice of refuge may
have been influenced by the fact that Equatorial Guinea is
not a member of the International Criminal Court, ICC.
Despite protracted criticism of Equatorial Guinea for
lack of respect for human rights, the country was elected to
the UN Security Council. The two-year term of office begins
In May, Equatorial Guinea was admitted as a member of the
OPEC oil cartel. The country is considered Africa's third
largest oil producer. But despite high oil revenues, large
sections of the population live in poverty, and the
government - which the president's family has a strong grip
on - has invested very little in education and health care.
Oil Minister Gabriel Obiang is also the president.