FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Gabon: Civil Society reaction to the speech of Ali Bongo for Gabon’s Independence day
Libreville, Gabon, August 18, 2011. During his speech for the celebration of 51 years of “independence” of Gabon, President Ali Bongo stood against the introduction of biometrics in the forthcoming parliamentary elections scheduled to take place at the end of the second half of this year.
Organizations of civil society as a whole condemn in the strongest terms such unpopular decision that goes against standards of good democratic governance applicable in a real democracy.
This choice demonstrates anti-democratic posture of a dictatorial and corrupt regime by nature, whose survival depends on a system of electoral fraud and traffic on a large scale and depriving sovereign people of its legitimate right to freely choose their leaders.
In addition, President Ali Bongo, is not offering any guarantee of transparency and fairness of the electoral process and specifically on the ability and impartiality of an administration that is not an administration of a true Republic, but one technostructure entirely devoted to the maintenance of his regime.
As a result, civil society organizations consider that the President of Gabon and its political clan are the main obstacles to real democratization of Gabon. They are being consistently opposed to any idea and any plans for democratic reform.
Faced with this deadlock, the civil society organizations reiterate their requirements in the 13 recommendations of June 29, 2011 as follows:
1. Fundamentally reform the Constitutional Court;
2. Revision of the electoral law;
3. Reforming the National Council for Communication;
4. Reforming National Permanent Electoral Commission (CENAP) integrating members of civil society;
5. Reduce the presidential term to five (5) years renewable only once;
6. Make sure the military personnel will vote outside their military bases or barracks, as civil citizens do;
7. Back to elections in two rounds;
8. Proceed with redistricting, taking into account the demographic factor;
9. Get partners of Development (including international community) involved in the process of electoral transparency;
10. Introduce biometrics into the making of the electoral register;
11. Open the public media to all people and organizations in the Nation;
12. Amend the Constitution to incorporate all the reforms and make it adopted by referendum;
13. Set up a Tripartite Commission, including majority parties in power, opposition parties and civil society, which will be responsible for the implementation of all reforms.
In this regard, we reaffirm our determination to impose democracy in Gabon and to follow through on our campaign to free Gabon from this corrupt oligarchy which is responsible for the widespread failure of our country.
This system of 45 years which completely failed on all fronts, no longer has any legitimacy to impose its will on the majority of Gabonese who aspire to a new governance model in order to remove the 85% of our citizens out precariousness and impoverishment.
Given that the Gabonese government marks a commitment to organize the upcoming elections in an environment of non-transparency that fosters massive fraud and rigging of election results, organizations of civil society called the international community including the United States, the European Union, the U.S. Congress and the United Nations to exert the necessary pressure to force the Government of Gabon to accept electoral transparency.
Organizations of civil society firmly reject this propensity of the Gabonese government confiscation of power by anti-democratic practices based on fraud, manipulation, bribery and nepotism.
Organizations of civil society believe it is urgent to worry about the political and democratic freedoms deteriorating dangerously in Gabon.
Indeed, the Gabonese Government will once again miss out on history by denying the basic rules of democracy.
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For civil society:
Brainforest, Saeger CONASYSED, Sneep, USDS, USAP, SYGEF, AFRICAN HORIZONS, ROLBG, OND, SENA, FESEENA,
If you would like more information, please contact in Gabon:
Marc Ona Essangui: Brainforest: +241-07 29 41 40: firstname.lastname@example.org
Georges MPAG: ROLBG: +241-07 51 99 32: email@example.com
Alain MOUAGOUADI: CONASYSED: +241-07 39 45 85
Dieudonné MINLAMA: OND: +241-07 94 87 19
Alain MOUPOPA: African Horizons: +241-07 75 15 03
Paulette Oyane Ondo, Lawyer: +241-06 26 73 12: firstname.lastname@example.org
Translated from french by Citoyen Libre Gabon
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