Nineteen candidates greenlit for Gabon’s upcoming presidential election

The Gabonese Elections Commission has announced its validation of nineteen candidates for the upcoming presidential election, with the current President Ali Bongo and numerous ex-ministers included among them. This follows a storm of opposition claims suggesting Bongo is unfit to retain the presidency, given his health conditions since suffering a stroke in 2018.

Gabon president Ali bango

Ali Bongo’s candidacy received approval despite enduring contention and widespread criticism, mainly from the opposition. Following his stroke in 2018, Bongo was medically evacuated to Morocco, with claims of his ill-health and inability to govern at the forefront of the opposition’s agenda.
President of the Gabonese Elections Centre, Michel Stephane Bonda, announced that out of twenty-seven applications received by the nomination paper submission deadline, nineteen received approval. These include numerous significant political figures who will contend for the presidency in the forthcoming election.
Ali Bongo first ascended to power in 2009, amidst controversies and allegations of fraud following the death of his father Omar Bongo. His 2016 re-election likewise faced disapproval and accusations of fraud from opposition groups. Despite these allegations, Bongo is now set for a third term run, following an almost 14-year rule. Gabon’s constitution notably lacks term limits, enabling this pursuit of extended rule.
Amongst the approved candidates, former Mines Minister Alexandre Barro Chambrier is viewed as the principal contender against Bongo. Born in Paris and an established economist, Chambrier will be participating in the presidential elections for the first time.
Several other noteworthy candidates will also be participating in the election, including Pierre-Claver Maganga Moussavou, the Social Democratic Party’s founder and current president, and Raymond Ndong Sima, the ex-prime minister of Gabon.
The campaign period for the impending presidential election is set to commence on August 11, with the decisive voting process scheduled for August 26. As Gabon enters into another pivotal election season, the country and the world will be keenly watching the developments and the impact on the political landscape.

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