Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, looks set to win a fresh seven-year term Sunday that could also see him nail the all-time record for African leaders, living or dead.
After almost 37 years at the helm of the tiny oil-rich nation with an abysmal rights record, the 73-year-old who took over in an August 1979 coup already heads the pack of veteran African leaders.
He has ruled one month more than his nearest rival, Angola’s Jose Eduardo dos Santos, and is several months ahead of Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe.
Cameroon’s Paul Biya, in office since 1982, is in fourth position and appears likely to seek a new mandate in 2018.
Then come Congo’s Denis Sassou Nguesso, with 32 years at the helm, and Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni with 30 — both of whom were re-elected this year.
Obiang is likely to hold on to his “longest-serving” title, all the more given that Dos Santos says he will retire in 2018.
The iron-fisted leader is also set next year to step onto the pedestal of Africa’s longest ever leaders — with the exception of kings and emperors free of ballot-box constraints.
That honour is currently held by late Libyan leader Moamer Khadafi, who ruled for 42 years, followed by dead Gabonese leader Omar Bongo Ondimba, with 41, and Togo’s Gnassingbe Eyadema with 38.
To nail that record he will need continuing good health as well as further stability in Equatorial Guinea, both of which look likely.
Source: Guardian ngr