(Associated Press) Rights group: Equatorial Guinea vote marred

(Associated Press) Rights group: Equatorial Guinea vote marred

Carley Petesch November 14, 2011
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A weekend referendum on constitutional changes that will allow Equatorial Guinea's president of three decades to pick his own successor was marred by intimidation and stuffed ballot boxes, a human rights group said Monday.

A weekend referendum on constitutional changes that will allow Equatorial Guinea's president of three decades to pick his own successor was marred by intimidation and stuffed ballot boxes, a human rights group said Monday.

The constitutional changes apparently approved by voters also removed the maximum age limit of 75 for the presidency, a move critics say suggests President Teodoro Obiang Nguema will stay in power after his current term expires in 2016.

Under the changes, the 69-year-old would still retain significant political influence even if he leaves. The referendum also created a new vice president position, a job many believe is earmarked for Obiang's son.

 

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