News

Gabonese Express Doubt About Fairness of Sunday’s Presidential Vote

Multimedia

Audio
  • Desire Ename, Publisher of Gabon’s independent Echos Dunord newspaper, Spoke With Clottey

Voters in Gabon are expressing worry the Sunday's presidential election will be neither free nor fair. They say the electoral commission is ill-prepared to organize a transparent election. 

The winner of Sunday's vote will succeed long time leader Omar Bongo who died of a heart attack at a Spanish Clinic in June this year. 

So far, Ali Ben Bongo, son of the former president seems to be the frontrunner.

But opposition groups have accused the electoral commission of failing to address their concerns about the electoral register, which they describe as problematic. 

Desire Ename, publisher of Gabon's independent Echos Dunord newspaper said that Gabonese are not reposing confidence in the fairness of Sunday's vote.

"I think that the electoral commission did not do well in the organization of this election…most people who wanted to participate in the election were not registered… so many of them did not register. So, by now so many people are in the situation where they probably will not be able to participate in the election," Ename said.

He said people are expressing worry that the election will not be transparent.

"Another aspect has been the impartiality of the commission, we don't feel it. We don't feel that the commission is really impartial," he said.

Ename said the government has failed to reassure the public about the transparency of the election.

"The minister of interior doesn't give the answers many people are asking about the way the election (is) going to be organized in the sense of seeing a real transparent election, and the minister of interior doesn't give the appropriate answer to that," Ename said.

He denied the security situation is tensed ahead of the vote.

"There is no problem of security. Everything is normal (and) there is no particular problem. We don't have troops in the streets; we don't have this kind of thing. People are going to their occupations like they want. Most candidates are having their meetings and in fact there is no security problem," he said.

Ename said reaction is mixed ahead of the election.

"They (Gabonese) have two attitudes; on the one hand some people feel they are anxious. They feel that the country will be going through turmoil after the election like we saw it in 1993 and 1998…but the others are optimistic because they want a change," Ename said.

He said there are no guarantees that Sunday's vote will be peaceful.

Earlier this month several opposition presidential candidates demanded a postponement of the election, claiming the electoral body was not prepared to organize the election.

But the interim transitional government led by Rose Francine Rogombé, and Prime Minister, Paul Mba Biyoghe rejected the opposition's demand, paving the way for Sunday's vote.  

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs