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.
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.
publisher of Gabon's independent Echos Dunord newspaper said that Gabonese are not reposing confidence in the fairness of
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.
said people are expressing worry that the election will not be transparent.
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.
said the government has failed to reassure the public about the transparency of
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.
denied the security situation is tensed ahead of the vote.
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.
said reaction is mixed ahead of the election.
(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.
said there are no guarantees that Sunday's vote will be peaceful.
this month several opposition presidential candidates demanded a postponement
of the election, claiming the electoral body was not prepared to organize the
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.