In February 2005, a cholera epidemic erupted, becoming the
leading cause of death on the island of Bioko, where the
capital Malabo is located. 3-5 dead were buried daily in the
cemetery, and a single day reached the figure of 30. The
epidemic threatened to spread to the entire country - like
malaria - as 80% of the population lives below the poverty
line. Also see AbbreviationFinder for abbreviation of GQ and its meanings of Equatorial Guinea.
A May 2006 report by the Committee for the Protection of
Journalists placed Equatorial Guinea as the African country
with the most comprehensive censorship. The report pointed
out that: "access to communications is 100% in the hands of
the country's elite of power". In the country, there is only
one private radio and TV station owned by the president's
In April 2007, the opposition party called the
Association for Social Democracy the international community
to oversee the municipal, parliamentary and presidential
elections to be held in 2008-09. Acc. the opposition party,
as in previous elections, will seek to conduct public voting
and prevent the participation of international observers.
The government has neither invited the opposition nor
international organizations to take part in organizing the
elections, which is seen as a sign that the elections will
be fraught with fraud.
British mercenary Simon Mann, who led the coup attempt
against Obiang in 2004, was released in November 2009 for
health reasons and sent back to the UK.
The November 2009 presidential election did not give a
surprising victory to the incumbent president who received
95.4% of the votes cast. However, both international
observers and the opposition questioned the legitimacy of
the election. The election was originally scheduled to take
place in 2010, but one month before the election, the
government announced it would be running as early as 2009.
In January 2010, security forces abducted 4 men living in
exile in Benin. There were 2 former military people, 1
border guard and 1 civilian. In August, they were executed
after a summary trial, convicted of participating in the
coup attempt against Obiang in 2010. At the same time, the
military court sentenced UP members Marcelino Nguema and
Santiago Asumu to 20 years in prison. In March, they had
otherwise been acquitted in a civil court, where seven other
UP members had otherwise been sentenced to 12 years in
prison. Police and security forces routinely and impunity
torture and other human rights violations. Censorship
remains widespread. In February 2011, the government ordered
the media not to mention the Arab Spring.
In 2011, the government made plans to move the capital
into the mainland. A brand new capital called Djibloho was
to be built.
In November 2011, Obiang enacted a new constitution. Acc.
the new constitution allowed a president to sit for a
maximum of 2 periods (2 * 7 years). In an interview, Obiang
denied that he would fail to stand for "re-election" despite
having been in office since 1979. The Constitution merged
presidential and prime ministerial posts, created a vice
presidential post and a 70-seat Senate, of which 15 were to
appointed by the President himself.
Obiang is reportedly suffering from prostate cancer and
wants his son, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue scheduled to
succeed him in the presidential post. The new vice
presidential post in the constitution was intended for
Obiang's son. In March 2012, a French investigating judge
issued an international arrest warrant against Teodoro for
public money fraud and money laundering. In August, the
French authorities confiscated his property in Paris,
claiming it was funded with funds stolen from Equatorial
Guinea. The following month, Equatorial Guinea's authorities
asked the international court in The Hague to issue an order
requiring the French authorities to suspend their
investigation and return the seized property. The following
month, the Malabo Magistrate's Court issued an arrest
warrant against the French director of Transparency
International for defamation, as the organization had
designated Equatorial Guinea as one of the world's most
corrupt countries. For 10 years, US authorities have brought
charges against Teodoro for fraud and money laundering. This
case ended in October 2014 with a settlement between the
United States and Teodoro, after which Teodoro was to pay $
30 million. US $. It was only a fraction of the value of his
property in the United States.