Equatorial Guinea on Sunday accused Spain, France and the United States of “interfering” in presidential and legislative elections scheduled for November 20.

President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who has ruled the country with an iron fist for 43 years, is running for a sixth term this week in his first campaign.

Diplomats from the former Spanish colony of Equatorial Guinea in the three countries participated this week in an election campaign against the three countries after one of the two opposition movements mandated to put forward candidates in the polls. condemned.

The foreign ministry called it “interference in China’s internal affairs” in a statement.

Obiang’s dominant Equatorial Guinea Democratic Party holds 99 of the 100 seats in the outgoing lower house of parliament and all Senate seats.

Before the introduction of multiparty politics in 1991, it was the only legitimate political movement in the country.

Competing with Obiang are Andres Esono Ondo of the Convergence for Social Democracy party and Buenaventura Monsuy Asumu of the Democratic Socialist Union party.

State Department spokesman Ned Price tweeted on Thursday that Washington was “concerned by reports of arrests and harassment of opposition members and civil society” and called on the government to hold “free and fair” elections.

“Equatorial Guinea can build a more inclusive, peaceful and democratic society by ensuring the expression of diverse political views, a free and fair voting process, and the protection of the human rights of all,” Price said.

Security forces have waged a relentless campaign for weeks, including arresting opponents.

But the government said the detentions were part of a crackdown on a “plot” by the opposition to “plan” “attacks” on “gas stations, Western embassies and ministers’ homes”.

Obiang, 80, who came to power in a 1979 coup, is the world’s longest-serving head of state, excluding a monarch.

He was never formally re-elected with less than 93 percent of the vote.

Out of a population of approximately 1.4 million, more than 425,000 voters were registered to vote.

The country has major oil and gas resources, but most of its 1.3 million people live below the poverty line, according to the World Bank.

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