vendredi 8 novembre 2013

#Gabon: And if we disobeyed more often!

And if we disobeyed more often!

In a Republic where everyone has the right to do anything, where laws and the rights of citizens are just prose on paper, it is necessary that the arbitrariness takes place because of the ability of authorities to enforce laws that establish their domination and do not fit into the people interest and we know they hit the limits of what is supposed to be correctly acceptable in a society. It is necessary that people clearly let authorities know that even with the delegation of their power that enables them govern, the red line of that representative power can not be crossed forever. It is even indispensable that these laws are violated since they are designed to protect the dominance of a ruling class and they are not whatsoever protecting basic human goals and choices of the general population.

The local elections approaching leads us to a small part of our electoral law but has serious consequences in that it closes the access of the population to election results. It is that (in)famous rule , that breathtaking exclusivity granted to the Ministry of the Interior , through the «Independent» and Permanent National Electoral , for the dissemination of voting results.

This law that we copied to other, is valid in continent-type or sprawling countries. Where, because of the time difference and distance, elections continued in one part of the country when they were completed in another. It is supposed to be ensuring the personal and individual nature of the vote, and preserving the voting process of any herd or reactionary influence.

What is this law among us where this harmonization and protection constraint does not exist? What time is it in Booué when closing time of polling is set in Libreville ? What time is it in Eboro when polling stations close in Ndindi ? Exactly the same. The recounts take place simultaneously in the country and voting offices’ minutes signed at the same time. Publishing election results in one part of the country before another has absolutely no effect on the election process (all voting boots should close at the same time all other the country).

What should we understand by «dissemination» here ? Where objectively the legislature intended to say «official proclamation», the overzealous administration and some of its officials heard «disclosure of voting trends from electoral offices», under the pretext that one or many pranksters could cause public disorder order by publishing false results. This means that the Ministry of Interior itself forbids us to share election results with our friends from distant immediately after we get them from electoral offices where we ourselves voted. Has there not been the corresponding Africa 24 being threatened with expulsion from Gabon for giving results of some polls during the last presidential elections ?

This is reinforced, exacerbated by deliberately delaying the proceedings as the vote recount. We do not even see which proceedings since the ballots are supposed to be destroyed in the electoral offices at the end of the counting which is done on site. Recount the votes which are no longer available is an heresy. As well as readditioning and recalculationing percentages already carried out in the polls is an insult to the tellers who were chosen simply to count and add upstream on the ground, and have already done that. The population generally shares the point of view that the additional time that the government gives to itself is used primarily to validate the manipulation off polls that occur during the transportation of results from the polling stations to the local, provincial or national election commission. It is during this transfer that already stuffed hacked ballot boxes are introduced into the circuit to replace the real ones which were in electoral offices. It is during this waiting period that the calculations are modified, as false reports that the tellers do not see or recognize are written and often presented without their signatures, and that requires them to confirm by affixing again their signature when they are supposed to have done that immediately after the vote in the place of voting. Clearly, it is during this period of uncertainty that the tampering takes place on a large scale, the nominees are elected back in the saddle despite their defeat at the polls. This explains the often inconceivable differences recorded between the numbers of chairmen of the opposition parties and even the candidates themselves exhibit as they have been transmitted to them by their representatives in electoral offices, and those officially published . The law is there to prevent us to counter this abhorrent practice to impose the shameful statement that will dictate the Interior Minister, member of the winning party and therefore he is not neutral in an election which he may not be candidate of, but he has a longevity in the position that guarantees a win of his political party. It is this practice that makes the PDG (party in power) is getting the false so-called fame machine win election, far behind the billions thrown into the public consciousness in purchases and advertising gadgets, and expensive campaign that most influence the vote of citizens for ages.

If habits remained, because maintained and improved in order to sustain their «return on political investment», the environment in which we operate has evolved. The prophecy of the Canadian sociologist Robert McLuhan that already announced in the early 80s the advent of a global village has became a reality. Geographical and ideological boundaries of access to information has exploded. The distances between the facts and the public have disappeared because of the speed of transmission and reception. Miniaturization of media and means of transmission has further accentuated this democratization. Today, social networks on the Internet mean that each of us becomes a source of information more or less reliable. SMS, Facebook and Twitter among other favored and accompanied by social and political upheavals that leaders failed to prevent, because they do not see them coming in time. Because most importantly, these information channels had missed and continue to elude them because of the spontaneity of the transmission and reception of personal network members.

This is the way we must refuse to enforce this law on the prohibition to publish the results of our votes before the Ministry of the Interior does. Because this vote is ours. Because the population to whom belongs exclusively the choice of its leaders: it's us. Because we are the first affected by the choices we make and that we have the duty to defend in their compliance with our aspirations. Because nobody else but us will never be entitled to impose choices that we have not made and that we would willingly assumed they had coincided with the truth that we have slipped in the polls. We must use the transmission channels offered to us by the modern technology and for which use we joined in taking a subscription with operators which have an obligation to provide the services we have purchased from them.

Gemalto, a world leader in digital processing of personal data is seeing its image and international credibility dent dangerously for agreeing to support the Gabonese regime in a biased electoral biometrics. Airtel, Etilasat and Azur are certainly not taking the same risk to be in some difficulties within the global market because of Gabon, a small market of a million and half people who are not also all active clients. They will never dare cut the phone, SMS and Internet connections in the evening of the next local elections in Gabon, because they would want to prevent the population of exchanging actual results of their own poll.

 Libreville, Nov 07, 2013

Hyacinthe Mba Allogho

Translated from french.

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