The president dissolved parliament on 3 March 2008 and called early legislative elections on 4 May, a year earlier than
scheduled. He also decided to hold municipal elections on the same date. The presidential party won 99 of 100 seats in the national
assembly. Equatorial Guinea has 12 political parties, including the ruling party. The opposition, which won only a single seat,
contested the results of the election, as did much of the international community.
A presidential election was held in Equatorial Guinea on November 29, 2009. Teodoro Obiang Nguema, who has been President of Equatorial
Guinea since 1979, ran for another term and won re-election with 95.4% of the vote, according to official results. President Obiang,
power by overthrowing his uncle Francisco Macias Nguema in a 1979 coup d'état.
In July 2008, a mission from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed its "deep concern" over the
"general situation relating to deprivation of liberty" in the country. Many international human rights organisations describe the
country's political regime as authoritarian and brutal. The right to free speech is guaranteed by law but denied in practice.
The written press, radio and television are all denied freedom of expression.