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.
According to 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 2018.
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.