Even if Obiang did fall out of power, and Teodorin did not succeed him, Envela would have to beat several other more well-known opposition candidates.
Severo Moto Nsá, for one, is more organized than Envela. As head of the Equatorial Guinea's Progress Party, Moto has an entire government-in-exile that is simply waiting for regime change in Madrid. Moto says he cannot return to Equatorial Guinea because Obiang will "eat his testicles."
Plácido Micó Abogo, who founded the opposition party the Convergence for Social Democracy, is the only well-known opposition candidate actually living in Equatorial Guinea, a choice he has paid for with multiple arrests and alleged torture. Micó is sharply critical of the political situation in Equatorial Guinea, and believes Obiang has retained power with the help of the U.S. because of oil interests.
Joseph Kraus, the program and development director at Equatorial Guinea Justice, says "it is hard to know how popular anyone who runs against Obiang is... because the elections are regularly marred by fraud."
Kraus says it also appears that Obiang has been working to further solidifying his position. "He has recently forged relationships with other African leaders, made trade contacts," said Kraus. "So it's unlikely any coup attempt would be recognized."
Gregory Simpkins, a member of the House of Representatives' sub-committee on African & Global Health, blames Obiang's strong position on the opposition's inability to organize—be it Envela, Moto or Mico.
"The opposition always does poorly because they never concentrate on building parties, just plotting to overthrow the government," Simpkins says.
Envela, however, is content to stay in his lane.
"Obiang is crazy, but he is also a coward," he says, excited over the prospect of his own campaign. "With the recent conviction of Charles Taylor at the Hague, the arrest of Laurent Gbagbo in the Ivory Coast, the coup in Mali, and the Arab Spring... President Obiang knows his time is up."
- Foundation Will Hold Politician-Studded Summit Glorifying Obiang
- Why Is Equatorial Guinea President Obiang Smiling?
- Check out U.S. News Weekly: an insider's guide to politics and policy.