samedi 9 juillet 2011

Gabon: General Parliamentary Elections 2011: the victory of the people within our reach

 (translated from french article published July 9 2011 by Petit-Lambert Ovono,

In a democracy, government and administration normally play the role of arbitrators in the management of the electoral process.

That was never the case in Gabon where the administration reflects the color of the ruling party, and therefore entirely politicized and completely biased on the one hand, and on the other, the government and other constitutional institutions substitute themselves often to the ruling party and so distort from the start any electoral process.

After the scenarios played by Ali Bongo, Paul Mba Biyoghe and Mborantsouo, in their kind of soap opera made for hacking the next legislative or parliamentary elections, and the proposal of the civil society of the 13 prerequisites, the emergence of Jean François Ndoungou, Gabon's minister of the Interior, is quick to be in concordance with the checklist of this "director" (of their kind of "movie").

The first action of the minister of the interior of this illegitimate government Friday, July 8, 2011 is a response to the representatives of embassies of the United States, France and the European Union, particularly to civil society and political parties which agreed on 13 prerequisites for next local elections in Libreville on June 29, during a working session on the electoral process and democratic environment in Gabon, as the 13 conditions to be met by the government before organizing parliamentary elections in 2011.

Thus he began to exclude the civil society (calling it "too picky") on the political consultation Friday, July 8, 2011, overruling the statements of its President (the usurper) who said, less than a month ago, that civil society should be associated with the preparation and conduct of elections to ensure their transparency.

Turning to the offensive, and as expected, Ndoungou announced the opening of the next revision of electoral rolls without biometrics to organize the parliamentary elections.

No doubt the Minister of Ali Bongo expected the reaction of opposition parties, which is actually irrelevant in his eyes, since fear and the concern of Jean-François Ndongou lies elsewhere. The interior minister is rather waiting for the reaction of the people of Gabon which ability to mobilize is currently being tested in order to accept or prevent the government to organize the next elections.

He returned therefore to all political parties, associations, unions, religious groups .., to sent a loud and clear message of general and democratic mobilization for the next elections which should take place in total transparency and without violence.

Neither the opposition nor the Gabonese people will no longer have an excuse if they went to these elections without the complete satisfaction of the 13 prerequisites and for good reasons, does they not claim to have won a majority of votes in the presidential elections of August 30 2009, and also having now sociological majority in Gabon?

The time has therefore come to the Gabonese people to stand up without violence to end the dictatorship, suffering, poverty and enslavement which the Bongo and PDG (ruling party) system has been submitting them to over the past half century.

Peaceful gatherings, with the sole motto of the 13 satisfactory conditions, must now begin to convince the government and international community of the merits of these requirements.

This is the price that Gabon needs to pay in order to take another step in advancing its democratic process.


Note: The 13 conditions put forward by civil society and other partners (opposition parties, US Ambassy, France Ambassy, EU) include:

  • fundamental reform of the Constitutional Court
  • revise the electoral law,
  • reform the National Communication Council (CNC),
  • reform the National Permanent Electoral Commission (CENAP) by including members of civil society ,
  • reduce the presidential term to five (5) years renewable once,
  • make sure the military personnel will vote outside their military bases, as all citizens do,
  • return to two-round elections,
  • carry out redistricting, taking into account the demographic factor,
  • involving partners of development (including international community) in the process of electoral transparency,
  • introduce biometrics into the making of the electoral register,
  • open the public media to all people and organizations (including political) in the nation,
  • change the Constitution with a referendum to incorporate all reforms
  • set up a Tripartite Commission, including majority parties movement, opposition parties, civil society, responsible for the implementation of all reforms.

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