By John Ikani
Equatorial Guinea’s veteran ruler Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, has taken the lead in the west African country’s presidential race, according to provisional results released by the interior ministry.
In his race for a sixth seven-year term, Obiang has so far obtained 44.2 % of the votes cast in nearly half of the country’s polling stations.
The 80-year-old leader has been in power for more than 43 years – the longest of any head of state alive today, excluding monarchs.
Over 400,000 people were registered to vote in the country of around 1.5 million. Voters also cast ballots to elect 100 members of parliament for the lower house, 55 of the country’s 70 senators, and local mayors.
Obiang’s contenders Andrés Esono Ondo of the CPDS party and former ally Buenaventura Monsuy Asumu of the PCSD, each got 1.34% and 0.35% of the vote.
The final results of the one-round election will be announced on November 26.