Polling stations for legislative and municipal elections in Equatorial Guinea, an oil rich former Spanish colony, opened Sunday with opposition party sources complaining of irregularities, while the provisional results hint that the ruling party PDGE (Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea) may regain the majority.
With just over 26 percent of the votes counted, the first provisional results provided by the National Electoral Board show an overwhelming triumph of the PDGE, which received 98.1 percent of the votes cast on an election day, which saw a voter participation of 93.9 percent.
While the spokesperson for the National Executive Board of the PDGE, Agustin Nze Nfumu, told EFE that the elections were held "with total normality" the leaders of the two opposition parties attending the elections thought the opposite was true.
The leaders of the Convergence for Social Democracy, Andres Esono, and Citizens for Change (CI), Gabriel Nse Obiang Obono, said there were problems such as the absence of ballots of their parties in the polling stations or polling stations that opened at dawn and closed before the time established so as to prevent the opposition vote.
Esono and Nse Obiang added that there were arrests and assaults on their election inspectors, many of them were expelled from schools, and intimidation against citizens so they vote in public by PDGE militants, in addition to a cut in Internet access and a military presence much greater than in previous elections.
"In other elections there has been fraud, but something like this has never been seen in Equatorial Guinea, what is being done now is a scandal," Nse Obiang said.
According to the first provisional results, CI would have obtained 1.4 percent of the votes and Convergence for Social Democracy 0.5 percent.
Both opposition leaders announced that they will not recognize the final results and that they will appeal to the courts, for which Nse Obiang raised the possibility of negotiating the filing of a joint appeal.
These accusations on Election Day are in addition to those made in recent days about irregularities in the campaign and about the absence of basic rights such as freedom of association and free expression, which are also echoed by international organizations such as Amnesty International (AI) or Human Rights Watch (HRW).
The first official results are expected to be released from 10pm local time (21.00 GMT).