LIBREVILLE: Gabon’s authorities introduced a nationwide curfew and lower off web entry Saturday night as voting in main nationwide elections drew to a detailed.
The Central African nation’s communications minister, Rodrigue Mboumba Bissawou, stated on state tv that there would a nightly curfew from 7 p.m. to six a.m. He stated web entry was being restricted indefinitely, saying there had been requires violence and the spreading of disinformation.
The announcement got here after voters solid ballots to elect new native leaders, nationwide legislators and Gabon’s subsequent president.
Incumbent President Ali Bongo Ondimba was looking for a 3rd seven-year time period and to proceed a 55-year political dynasty. Bongo got here to energy in 2009 after the demise of his father, Omar Bongo, who dominated the nation for 41 years.
Bongo, 64, received his present time period in workplace by a slender margin in 2016 amid violent protests. This yr, the opposition united in favor of his important challenger, economics professor Albert Ondo Ossa, one week earlier than Saturday’s elections.
Round 847,000 individuals had been eligible to solid ballots Saturday. Voters in Libreville, Gabon’s capital, complained of polling stations opening late. Voting was scheduled to start within the morning, however many election websites had didn’t open as of two p.m.
“I’ve finally voted. I’ve been here since 6 a.m. It was at 12 noon that I was able to vote, because the polling station opened at 11 a.m.,” Ballack Obame, a former pupil chief, stated.
“I’ve never seen an election in Gabon that doesn’t start before 10 o’clock. It’s really sad. I’m going home,” stated Theophile Obiang, a pensioner leaning on his cane.
Authorities didn’t clarify the explanations for the delays or point out when outcomes can be introduced.
“Voters must benefit from the 10-hour period provided for by electoral law,” stated Paulette Missambo, who withdrew from the presidential race in favor of Ossa, an unbiased candidate.
Ossa’s platform revolves round breaking Gabon out of the established order. He stated that if elected, he would dissolve the Nationwide Meeting, redraw the electoral map and set up a brand new legislative election, with a objective of forming a authorities dedicated to addressing financial inequality.
“Sixty years in power is too much. I’m not afraid of (President Bongo),” Ossa stated after casting his poll at a Libreville faculty on Saturday afternoon.
Each vote held in Gabon because the nation’s return to a multi-party system in 1990 has resulted in violence. Clashes between authorities forces and protesters following the 2016 elections killed 4 individuals, in response to official figures. The opposition stated the demise toll was far increased.
In anticipation of post-electoral violence, many individuals within the capital went to go to household in different elements of the nation or left Gabon altogether. Others stockpiled meals or bolstered safety of their houses.