President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who has ruled Equatorial Guinea with an iron fist for more than 43 years, will seek a sixth term in November, the vice president said Friday.
Obiang, 80, is the longest ruling head of state in the world excluding monarchs but it was uncertain if he would stand again or whether his son would succeed him.
It was his son, Vice President Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, nicknamed “Teodorin”, who made the announcement.
Stating that “Because of his charisma, his leadership, and his political experience”, the ruling party unanimously chose Obiang as its candidate for the November 20 poll, Obiang Mangue wrote on Twitter.
The Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE) holds 99 of the 100 seats in the outgoing lower house of parliament and all 70 of the senate seats.
But it had not been clear who would be named as the party’s candidate on the presidential ballot.
No other candidate has so far been declared
Obiang seized power in a coup in 1979 that led to the execution of his feared, ruthless uncle and predecessor Francisco Macias Nguema.
The PDGE was the country’s single legal political movement until 1991, when multi-party politics were introduced.