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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs