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Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo

Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of Equatorial Guinea from August 3, 1979 to the present.

A member of the Esangui clan and born in Acoacan, Obiang Nguema began his career in the military and attended an academy in Spain. He achieved the status of a lieutenant upon his uncle Francisco Macías Nguema's election.

Obiang Nguema was shuffled through various jobs, including governor of Bioko Island and leader of the Equatoguinean military. He deposed his uncle on August 3, 1979 in a coup, and soon after executed him. In October 1979, Obiang Nguema officially declared himself President and declared that the new government would bring a fresh start from the repressive measures taken by his uncle's administration.

Unfortunately, Obiang Nguema now leads one of the most corrupt, ethnocentric, oppressive and anti-democratic states in the world, according to most domestic and international observers. Equatorial Guinea is now essentially a single-party state, dominated by the President's "Partido Democrático de Guinea Ecuatorial," or Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea. Of the members of the Chamber of People's Representatives, 85.5% are aligned with the PDGE. The opposition is severely hampered by the lack of a free press as a vehicle for their views.

Obiang Nguema was re-elected in December 2002. His government was slammed by the international community for running an election which was widely considered to be unfair and that was also boycotted by most of the opposition. In July 2003, state-operated radio declared that the president is a God who is "in permanent contact with the Almighty."