By Samuel Ouma
The US Government has poked holes into the final election results that the Equatorial Guinea electoral commission announced on Saturday, November 26, 2022.
Election officials in the Central African nation declared President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo as the winner after garnering 94.9 per cent of the total votes cast, beating his opponents Andrès Esono Ondo and Buenaventura Monsuy Asumu.
Obiang’s ruling Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE) also grabbed all seats in the National Assembly and the Senate.
However, the American government has revealed that the election was not free and fair as it was marred with irregularities and intimidation.
“We note that international election observers, civil society groups, and opposition parties have made credible allegations of significant election-related irregularities, including documented instances of fraud, intimidation, and coercion,” said the US State Department spokesperson Ned Price.
Some of the allegations stated by Ned include restrictions of representatives of political parties to access polling stations, repeat voting, pre-filling of Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE) ballots, non-secret voting booths, and heavily armed soldiers within 20 meters of voting booths.
There were also irregular counting practices that favoured the ruling party, PDGE, including counting unopened ballots and counting ballots without all political parties represented.
“Given the scale of irregularities observed and the announced results giving the PDGE 94.9% of the vote, we have serious doubts about the credibility of the announced results,” added Mr. Ned.
Meanwhile, President Biden-led administration has urged Equatoguinean authorities to work with all stakeholders – including the full spectrum of political organizations and non-partisan civil society organizations – to address voter fraud allegations fully and take steps to permit the expression of diverse political perspectives.