Get our newsletter delivered directly to your inbox
I have already subscribed | Do not show this message again
Your email has been successfully registered.
His candidacy will be ratified by a special congress scheduled on Monday of his all-powerful Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG), which dominates parliament by a wide margin and is the clear favorite in the legislative and municipal elections to be held on the same day as the presidential election, August 26.
It was not a surprise to anybody that Gabonese President Bongo Ondimba announced that he will seek a third term. It is something that is becoming a trend on the African continent. Perhaps what most characterizes reelections in Gabon is the little power of the political opposition.
In other countries, re-election bids have been frustrated by popular pressure and relatively organized opposition political alliances.
About five months ago, the opposition participated in negotiations with the president to try to limit the possibilities of Bongo's mandate. At that time, the new Prime Minister Alain-Claude Bilie-By-Nze promised that the discussions would bring positive changes: "The discussions are hard; they are difficult because we are working on a topic that is difficult in itself. Everyone has arguments. We believe we have great hopes that eventually we will reach an agreement to achieve the harmonization desired by the Head of State," he declared before the press.
None of that was accomplished. The opposition in the midst of those meetings did not want to comment on the discussions and possible agreements. "We prefer to wait until the end of the negotiations to tell what we have achieved," indicated Sérapphin Akure Davin in the face of strong pressure from the opposition base in order to know their political future. It was not a surprise to anyone that 10 days of consultations did not bring any positive results.
Today, the re-election of Bongo for a third term after 14 years in power is among the top stories. For the time being, Mr. Bongo is the clear favorite for the presidential election, as various opposition parties have failed to form a single coalition, with some twenty personalities having already announced their intention to run against the outgoing head of state.
His candidacy will have to be ratified by a special congress scheduled for Monday of his all-powerful Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG), which dominates parliament by a wide margin and is the clear favorite in the legislative and municipal elections to be held on the same day as the presidential election, August 26.
Tuesday is the deadline for presidential candidates, and the official electoral campaign will last from midnight on August 11 to midnight on August 25. Even so, the political campaigns developed by the parties have been carried out since January of this year. None of these campaigns has had the magnitude of those carried out by the party in power. The president has called it the "Republican Tour" with the intention of assigning democratic attributes to the process.
"My dear Gabonese compatriots, (...) to continue writing this history and this future together, because nothing matters more than the success of our country, I officially announced here today that I am a candidate," said Nkok Bongo Ondimba in front of the press.