Until this year, Teodoro Obiang Nguema had never won less than 97 percent of the vote in an election. Perhaps the immense international scorn he has faced in recent years caused him to loosen his grip a bit, because he won only 93.7 percent when reelected to his sixth term as leader of Equatorial Guinea this year. He is the world’s longest-serving president, having ruled for almost 37 years.
According to local television stations, he has further consolidated his power by promoting his son, Teodoro “Teodorín” Obiang Mangue, from “second vice president” to simply vice president.
Power has been in the family for Equatorial Guinea’s entire existence as an independent country. The current president toppled his uncle in a violent coup in 1979, before sentencing him to death by firing squad. Since then, he has consolidated his grip over the country’s industries and is accused of diverting tax money into his personal accounts.
The apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree.
In 2014, U.S. authorities forced Teodorín to relinquish his $30 million home in Malibu, Calif.; a Gulfstream jet; a Ferrari; and dozens of pieces of Michael Jackson memorabilia worth more than $1 million, all bought with money funneled through offshore bank accounts. Court documents reviewed by the Justice Department showed that Teodorín received an official salary of less than $100,000 but amassed more than $300 million in assets through corruption and money laundering.
Via Washington Post
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