Gabon Opposition to Lodge Formal Rejection of Poll Results


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

In Gabon, the opposition coalition is scheduled to hold a news conference Monday formally rejecting last month's election result. 

Describing it as sham, opposition parties have formed a coalition to challenge the electoral commission after it declared Ali Ben Bongo winner of the August 30th presidential vote. 

Opposition groups have rejected the results and continue violent clashes with security forces.

The clashes have reportedly left at least two dead and destroyed property despite Bongo's appeal for calm. 

Desire Ename publisher of Gabon's independent Echos Dunord newspaper said the opposition is prepared to begin its news conference.

In Libreville, we are waiting for the declaration of the coalition of the candidate from the opposition," Ename said.

He said there are indications that the opposition would be uncompromising in Monday's press conference.

"They will first of all reject the validity of that election because on Saturday, they had already said something's in that way. And they said that all the results that have been published were fake results, and I think that this morning they will just confirm that position," he said.

Ename said security is tight at the residence of an opposition presidential candidate.

"Those (military) people went there and they asked (defeated candidate) Mr. Mba Obame supporters to move away from that place because they were on the street…they (military) want no gathering of more than five people this is what they said to those (supporters)," Ename said.

He said the opposition is determined not to accept the results of last Sunday's vote.

"We just heard from the opposition, Mr. Andre Mba Obame and Mr. Mamboundou. They asked their supporters to resist any threats…from the government," he said.

Ename said there is need for a poll after opposition supporters rejected President-Elect Bongo's calls for calm.

"I think that we should measure this attitude to the fact that Mr. Ali Bongo has been legally confirmed as the president of Gabon. It remains that legitimacy belongs to the people …I think this is the interpretation that can be found in that attitude of the people, who don't at all respect what Mr. Ali Bongo asked," Ename said.

Meanwhile, the government threatened Sunday to declare a "state of siege" in Port Gentil if post-election violence continues.

Interior minister Jean-Francois Ndongou warned that he would invoke special powers if opposition supporters continue with the violent protests.

Post-election violence engulfed Port Gentil after results, announced by the electoral commission declaring Ali Ben Bon winner of the presidential vote, were described as fake by members of the opposition.                                                    

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