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Equatorial Guinea president wins re-election, VP says on Twitter

DAKAR — Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema has won re-election with 95% of the Nov. 20 vote, his son Vice President Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue said on Twitter on Saturday.

Reuters was not able to immediately verify the claim.

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A win would given Obiang, 80, a sixth term in office, extending his 43-year rule and cementing his place as the world’s longest-standing ruler.

“The definitive results prove us right again,” the vice president tweeted. “We continue to prove to be a great political party!”

The West African country of around 1.5 million people has had only two presidents since independence from Spain in 1968. Obiang ousted his uncle Francisco Macias Nguema in a coup in 1979.

Obiang has always been elected with more than 90% of the vote in polls that international observers have questioned. Critics say Obiang has done little to drag the country out of poverty despite great personal wealth.

Rights groups accuse him of muzzling dissent and cracking down on rivals. Protests are mostly forbidden, media is heavily controlled, and political opponents are often arrested and tortured, they say.

His son, who observers see as a potential successor, was convicted for embezzlement by a French court in 2020. Assets that foreign powers say he bought with ill-gotten gains include a crystal-covered glove worn by Michael Jackson, an armored Rolls-Royce limousine and a yacht.

Father and son have denied wrongdoing. (Reporting by Edward McAllister; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and David Holmes)

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