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HomeNewsPolls open in Gabon normal election, a take a look at of...

Polls open in Gabon normal election, a take a look at of assist for Bongo Get hold of US

President Ali Bongo is in search of a 3rd seven-year time period in workplace to increase his household’s 56-year grip on energy.

Voters in Gabon are heading to the polls for presidential, legislative and native elections that the opposition hopes will foil President Ali Bongo’s bid for a 3rd time period and finish his household’s 56-year grip on energy.

Poling stations opened throughout the Central African nation at 8am (07:00 GMT) on Saturday with 19 candidates on the presidential poll, though six of the principle opposition events have backed a joint nominee to slim the race to unseat Bongo.

Vote counting will begin after polls shut at 6pm (17:00 GMT). It isn’t but clear when preliminary outcomes might be introduced.

The vote is a much-anticipated take a look at of assist for Bongo, who has served two seven-year phrases. Detractors say he has executed too little to funnel Gabon’s oil wealth in the direction of the third of its 2.3 million inhabitants residing in poverty and query his health to manipulate after a stroke in 2018.

Bongo, 64, has sought to disprove this picture on a wide-ranging marketing campaign path. He has promised to create extra jobs, increase micro-loan programmes, and lower public college charges.

The run-up to the poll has been clean, however many concern the post-election interval may see unrest just like the protests that broke out after Bongo’s 2016 victory. The opposition has disrupted each his earlier election wins, saying he received fraudulently.

Latest adjustments to the voting system may additional complicate the aftermath, mentioned Remadji Hoinathy, a researcher on the Africa-focused Institute for Safety Research. These embody the introduction of a single poll that requires voters to select a presidential candidate and politician from the identical celebration.

The adjustments “would possibly add extra tensions on the end result of the elections, after which possibly contestations and possibly violence,” Hoinathy mentioned.

Bongo’s camp has positioned him because the agency favorite to win the race, though there was no dependable polling.

His primary risk comes from joint opposition candidate Albert Ondo Ossa, 69, an economics and administration professor who has campaigned on the necessity for change and higher financial alternatives.

The pitch may resonate in a rustic the place a 3rd of younger persons are unemployed and the overwhelming majority of the inhabitants has solely identified Bongo’s rule.

On Friday, massive crowds attended the ultimate rallies of Bongo and Ondo Ossa within the capital, Libreville.

“I’m 67 years outdated, I can inform you that I’ve by no means seen such enthusiasm for a candidate. I’m satisfied that this 12 months there might be changeover in Gabon”, mentioned pensioner Alain Moussavou on the opposition rally.

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