When we lived in Equatorial Guinea during smallpox eradication, the dictator of this sinister place, President Macias Nguema, outlawed political opposition.
He instituted the Partido Unico Nacional (P.U.N.) the Single National Party.
48 years later, I have the sad duty to share breaking news that feels like a replay.
The court has banned the main opposition party. The party that has one seat in parliament to the ruling party’s 99.
1970 – The Only Legal Party
As I write this post, I’m looking at a US embassy document from my files – the English translation of Macias’s rousing speech. At least the English translation looks rousing.
He said that the Guineans had “made evident the need for national unity by the creation of a single Party.” The existence of various political parties on the eve of independence was “a confused situation.” He declared their total abolition….
…and proclaimed the creation of a single political party, the Partido Unico Nacional (P.U.N), “from henceforth the only legal Party of our nation.…”
In his conclusion, Macias said that “no honest Guinean worthy of that name can live outside that decisive action that binds us to the P.U.N. This is a date on which we have chosen a new way…LONG LIVE THE P.U.N.!!!”
Same Family – Same Chokehold on the People
Macias Nguema, brutal dictator, creator of the P.U.N., overthrown by nephew in 1979.
Teodoro Obiang Nguema, ruler for 38+ years, crushes every opponent.
David Nguema Obiang, Attny. General, said CI (opposition party) “must be dissolved.”
Jose Rafael Nguema, presiding judge, said the CI party will be “withdrawn (from) the register of political parties in the country.” Sentenced 21 of the party’s activists to more than 30 years in Equatorial Guinea’s prisons.
But Opposition Parties are Legal. Right?
President Obiang Nguema came to power touting his returning the country to democracy. But he has been repeatedly accused of brutally repressing his opponents and of electoral fraud and corruption. He’s ruled for nearly 4 decades, always reelected by close to 100% of the vote.
His ruling party kept its hold on power during the November 2017 vote, winning 99 of the parliament’s 100 seats.
The opposition party CI won the other seat. Now CI is abolished.
From The Independent, February 24, 2018:
Malabo, Equatorial Guinea | AFP | Equatorial Guinea’s main opposition party, “The Citizens for Innovation (CI) party should be dissolved, there is violence wherever it holds meetings,” said David Nguema Obiang during the trial in Mongomo, excerpts of which were broadcast on state television Friday….
The above news report says that the mass trial of 147 stems from “scuffles which occurred a week before the vote when police tried to stop a campaign rally.”
Speaking to AFP, “a regional diplomatic source” said that “90 percent of the defendants were not even present” (some were in other parts of the country entirely) at the time of the “scuffles” which led to the trial.
Too little has changed since 1970.
Next regular blog post – smallpox in history
Do you know how close we came to not having a Gettysburg Address, because of smallpox? Stay tuned for that story and more.
Thank you again for visiting my blog.