Equatorial Guinean legislative election, 2008

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An early legislative election was held in Equatorial Guinea on 4 May 2008, at the same time as local elections. The 100 seats in parliament, along with 230 local councillor seats, were to be elected.[1]

President Teodoro Obiang Nguema dissolved the Chamber of People's Representatives on 29 February 2008 and announced that the legislative election, originally scheduled for 2009, was being brought forward by one year and would be held together with the local elections on 4 May. This was explained as a way to save money.[2] Prior to the election, Obiang's Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE) and its allies held 98 of 100 seats in the Chamber of People's Representatives and over 200 of 230 municipal council seats.[citation needed] It was expected that the PDGE would again win overwhelmingly in 2008.[3]

Campaigning was reported to have proceeded without popular enthusiasm; about 1,000 people were present for the launch of the PDGE's campaign at a stadium in Malabo, although 15,000 seats were available. During the campaign, an army Antonov An-32 plane crashed off Annobon, killing 13 PDGE militants.[3] There were 278,000 registered voters at the time of the election.[3][4]

In order to "guarantee a normal functioning of mental faculties" among voters, the sale and consumption of alcohol was banned from the night before the election through election day.[5]

On May 4, the Secretary-General of the opposition Convergence for Social Democracy (CPDS), Plácido Micó Abogo, condemned the election as "a repetition of what the government has always done". He said the election was marked by "arbitrary procedures in many polling stations", including disappearing ballot papers and the failure to replace ballot papers that had run out; he also alleged that CPDS representatives in polling stations were harassed.[1]

Partial official results were first released on May 5, showing the PDGE winning overwhelmingly. In some constituencies, such as Moka in southern Bioko, the party was credited with 100% of the vote. Results from most polling stations in Mongomo, from which Obiang originates, showed the PDGE receiving every vote. The best result for the CPDS in these partial results was in Luba district in southern Bioko, where the CPDS was credited with 0.7%.[1] Full results were expected to be announced on 20 May 2008.[1][4]

On May 9, Clemente Engonga Nguema Onguenes, the President of the National Electoral Commission and Minister of the Interior, announced on the radio that the PDGE and the nine small parties allied to it, which are together known as the Democratic Opposition, had won a total of 99 out of 100 seats;[5] CPDS Secretary-General Plácido Micó Abogo won the remaining seat.[6] The PDGE and the Democratic Opposition also won a combined 213 out of 230 local councillors; the CPDS won 17 councillors on Bioko and in Litoral Province.[5]

e • d Summary of the 4 May 2008 Equatorial Guinean Chamber of People's Representatives election results
Parties Seats
Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (Partido Democrático de Guinea Ecuatorial) 99
Democratic Opposition in alliance with PDGE
Convergence for Social Democracy (Convergencia para la Democracia Social) 1
Total (turnout %) 100
Source: jeuneafrique.com