Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Trash collection goes high tech

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users react to escalating violence in Gaza

Read more

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015.

Read more

REPORTERS

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

  • Germany defeat Argentina 1-0 to win World Cup

    Read more

  • Thousands flee northern Gaza after Israel warning

    Read more

  • Major differences remain as deadline looms in Iran nuclear talks

    Read more

  • Paris’s Bastille Day fireworks ‘an homage to victims’ of WWI

    Read more

  • French military to extend Mali 'counterterrorism' operations into Sahel

    Read more

  • Legendary conductor Lorin Maazel dies aged 84

    Read more

  • Germany’s Tony Martin wins ninth stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Boko Haram claims Nigeria attacks and supports Iraqi militants

    Read more

  • French court lifts mayor’s ban on Muslim hijab at beach

    Read more

  • Shells land in Russia as eastern Ukrainians flee fighting

    Read more

  • Rival Libyan militias exchange heavy fire at Tripoli airport

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament fails to agree on new leadership

    Read more

  • Afghan presidential candidates agree to full vote audit, Kerry says

    Read more

  • Last of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, dies aged 62

    Read more

Africa

Tight security underscores tension ahead of election results

©

Text by Erik CAMPANO

Latest update : 2009-09-03

Three days after Gabon's first presidential election since Omar Bongo's death, voters are eagerly awaiting the delayed results of the hotly contested poll amid beefed-up security to tackle any possible post-election unrest.

As the country awaits the presidential election results due on Wednesday evening, the security forces have been making their presence felt in Gabon.


Three candidates have already claimed victory in the election, and at the headquarters of two of them, Andre Mba Obame and Pierre Mamboundou, crowds of supporters are camped out. The third is Ali Bongo, the son of Omar Bongo, who died in June after ruling Gabon uninterrupted with his Gabonese Democratic Party for 41 years.


Across the capital, Libreville, police and soldiers are out in force in an attempt to prevent any possible civil unrest on the election results. Ordinary residents have been staying indoors for fear of any violence. Many shops and offices have been standing closed since the beginning of the week.


Obame, an independent candidate and formerly the interior minister, said there was no good reason for troops to patrol Libreville so heavily. "What could justify security forces when everyone, including France, recognises that the election took place under good conditions? Nothing. This is provocation.”


African Union calls for calm


The forces are necessary, however, according to Bongo, who was Gabon’s minister of defence until mid-August, when his campaign officially began. "It is clear that we cannot accept disorder,” he said before the election. “We shall use all the institutions that the law authorises us to use - the street belongs to no one."


African Union (AU) observers have called for calm. "The mission calls on the candidates... and the entire population to ensure peace and democracy is maintained in Gabon by sticking to dialogue," said Albert Tevoedjre, head of the AU election observer team in Gabon.


All three campaigns state that their own polling gives them victory. Obame claims 50.1% of the vote; Mamboundou, 39.15%. Bongo’s campaign refuses to release its figure, but says he has an absolute majority. Most analysts say a Bongo win is a certainty.


Election officials, meanwhile, have told the public not to believe any of the campaigns’ numbers. Rene Aboghe Ella, president of the election commission, said, "The figures doing the rounds do not in our view have any firm basis."

Date created : 2009-09-02

Comments

COMMENT(S)