, MALABO, May 25 – Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema has named two sons and a brother in the country’s new government, after appointing Vincente Ehate Tomi as prime minister, national television reported.
Of the 55 government nominations announced on Thursday, 12 are close to Obiang Nguema personally.
These include his brother Antonio Mba Nguema who becomes defence minister and one of his sons, Gabriel Mbega Obiang Lima, in the energy and industry seat.
Agapito Mba Mokuy, formerly an advisor to the president, becomes foreign minister.
The new prime minister Milam Tang is Nguema’s former chief of staff.
Obiang, Africa’s longest-serving leader, announced on Monday night that another son, Teodorin, had been appointed second vice president with responsibility for defence and security.
Teodorin is a former agriculture minister but has attracted headlines more recently over a corruption case being pursued by French authorities.
Equatorial Guinea’s main opposition parties accused the veteran leader of seeking to line his vice president son up to be his successor.
French prosecutors have called for an international arrest warrant to be issued for the president’s son to face questioning in a probe into the sources of money spent in France by Obiang, Congo-Brazzaville’s President Denis Sassou Nguesso, and Omar Bongo, the late president of Gabon.
Obiang, 69, has ruled Equatorial Guinea with an iron grip since seizing power in a 1979 coup, making him the continent’s longest-serving head of state.
A new constitution, which was approved in November, does not make clear whether Obiang could stay in power until 2030, or if he would have to resign when his current term ends in 2016.
Two vice president posts were created by the new constitution. Former prime minister Ignacio Milam Tang had earlier been named as first vice president.
Equatorial Guinea, a former Spanish colony, is sub-Saharan Africa’s third biggest oil exporter but its people live in grinding poverty.