NewsAfrica18 candidates against outgoing Ali Bongo

    18 candidates against outgoing Ali Bongo

    In Gabon, the outgoing president, Ali Bongo Ondimba, will face eighteen candidates in the presidential election scheduled for August 26. The leader, in power for fourteen years, is the favourite. Facing him, the scattered opposition is trying to form a coalition, Alternance 2023, in order to federate a common candidacy.

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    The Gabonese Elections Center (CGE) published on Monday July 24 a list of 19 candidates for the August 26 presidential election in Gabon.

    For the time being, the outgoing president, Ali Bongo Ondimba, is the favorite against an opposition without a common personality, but which denounces in chorus recent modifications to the electoral code.

    The CGE validated, on the night of Sunday to Monday, 19 candidacies out of 27 registered, five more than in 2016, but four less than in 2009, including those of important opposition figures: in particular Alexandre Barro Chambrier, nicknamed ABC, of ​​the Rassemblement pour la Patrie et la Modernite (RPM), and Paulette Missambo, of the National Union (UN).

    An election campaign already underway

    If elected on August 26 for a third term, Ali Bongo could reach the age of 19 at the head of this small oil state in Central Africa.

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    The 64-year-old head of state was first elected in 2009 on the death of his father Omar Bongo Ondimba, who had ruled the country for more than 41 years, then narrowly re-elected in 2016.

    If the presidential election attracts attention, legislative and local elections will be held simultaneously on August 26, for which the Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG) of Ali Bongo, which largely dominates Parliament, is the big favourite.

    Facing him the opposition is advancing in dispersed order, but some of them, including Alexandre Barro Chambrier and Paulette Missambo, participate in an opposition coalition, Alternance 2023, which hopes to federate a common candidacy by August 26.

    The official electoral campaign will take place from August 11 to 25 at midnight. But most of the candidates have been leading it for a year throughout the country, Ali Bongo having multiplied an intense “republican tour” there in recent months.

    A reduction in the number of observers

    Five weeks before the election, the pre-campaign has started in recent weeks, and Alternance 2023 has united its voices against a recent modification of the electoral code.

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    They denounce in particular the establishment of a ceiling of three observers maximum per polling station, when the old electoral law allowed each candidate to appoint a representative per office. These three observers are designated “in parity”: one by the majority, the other by the opposition, and the last by the independent candidates.

    “The alleged parity between the majority and the opposition is a deception. The spotlight is given to political parties allegedly from the opposition presenting no or very few candidates”, launched, Friday, Francois Ndong Obiang, president of Reappropriation of Gabon, of its Independence, for its Reconstruction (React), in front of 200 activists of the member parties of Alternance 2023 gathered at the headquarters of React in Libreville.

    Less control of rejected ballots

    Another point of contention: the removal of the envelope in which the voter placed the rejected ballots, and which was attached to that containing the ballot of the candidate of his choice.

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    The control of the contents of the two envelopes during the counting “made it possible to ensure that there was no illicit traffic, purchase of consciences at the exit of the polling stations”, affirmed Alexandre Barro Chambrier to AFP, condemning the removal of a “safeguard” against “fraud”.

    “There has been no change in the rules of the game on my part and the government (…) When the time comes, we will prove that what has been done corresponds to the written requests of the opposition”, defended the Prime Minister, Alain-Claude Bilie-By-Nze, in a tweet a week ago. “To achieve peaceful consultations, the actors must beware of throwing oil on the fire,” he warned.

    In February, a consultation forum, shunned by the main opposition leaders, had made it possible to modify the Constitution, reducing the presidential term from seven to five years and returning the ballot to a single round. His detractors had denounced a maneuver intended, five months before the elections, to facilitate the re-election of Ali Bongo by a relative majority.

    With AFP

    Source: France 24

    This post is posted by Awutar staff members. Awutar is a global multimedia website. Our Email: [email protected]


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