Nguema wins re-election

Malabo - Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, in power since 1979, has won re-election by a crushing margin of 95,1 percent, the interior minister said on Tuesday, citing provisional results.

Main opponent Placido Mico Abogo won 4,05 percent of the vote in Sunday's vote, according to the figures given by Clemente Engonga Nguema Onguene.

Obiang Nguema, who has run the oil-rich west African nation with an iron hand for three decades, is expected to win the poll, easily beating the four other candidates. Final results were not expected until next Monday.

Archivaldo Montero of the Popular Union received 0,39 percent of the vote while Bonaventura Monsuy Asumu of the Social Democratic Coalition Party polled 0,19 percent.

The other opposition candidate, Carmelo Mba Bacale of the Popular Action for Equatorial Guinea, won 0,17 percent, according to the provisional figures.

In the presidential poll of 2002, Obiang Nguema won with 97,1 percent of votes cast against four other candidates. He vowed that he would achieve a similar score in this year's election.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch has cast doubt on the credibility of the poll, noting that in the absence of an independent and impartial body to watch over the electoral process, the vote was unlikely to be free and fair.

Equatorial Guinea is the third largest producer of oil in sub-Saharan Africa.

In total, 291 000 Equatorial Guineans were called to the polls from a population which the authorities put at a million but international bodies believe to number between 600 00 and 750 000.

Mico Abogo said earlier that a member of his party was arrested at a polling station on Sunday while protesting at voting irregularities.

He warned that he would not "accept the results" of the vote, calling it a "fraud" by the ruling party.

Carmelo Mba Bacale quit the race on Saturday saying he would boycott the poll because of the lack of transparency in the electoral process.

He accused the party of Obiang Nguema of having "made plans to win the election by force" by placing party members in charge of polling stations and as head of the electoral commission. - AFP

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