Voters will vote on Sunday in the first round of presidential elections against the backdrop of a severe economic crisis and a tense political atmosphere, media agencies reported. Incumbent President Omar Bongo, who is standing again, has repeatedly charged that the opposition has been preparing to “sow the seeds of violence” and ordered that the country’s border be closed before the polls. AFP reported that opposition candidates have accused the ruling party, the Parti democratique gabonais (PDG), and its allies of organising “massive fraud”.
An official working with the Paris-based cultural organisation, La Francophonie, told IRIN today it was sending a team of electoral observers to monitor the elections. The 10 observers would collaborate with several parliamentarians from French-speaking countries as well as local and international teams.
Bongo won the 1993 elections claiming 51 percent of the vote in a contested victory that sparked violent riots in Libreville.
This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions