August 7 in Libreville. Photo by our Observer Adriankoto.
Gabon's presidential election results are to be announced tonight (September 2). One of our Observers in the country explains that the three-day gap between the vote and the results might have given rise to fraudulent activities. He also raises concerns over the unrest that could surge once the results are announced.
Nicaise Moulombi is president of Libreville-based NGO 'Growth, health and environment'.
It's true that it would have been difficult to announce the results earlier. Gabon is a pretty big country made up of nine provinces, and infrastructure and transport is not good. So it takes time for all the results to arrive in Libreville. And plus there were 18 candidates and 4,000 polling stations, so counting the votes was a slow process.
Three days however leaves enough time for certain people to bribe those who deliver the reports. Why not give projections in each province to assure citizens that there's no fraud going on? My concern is that the fraud will take place when the results reach the capital. But at least this time, the three candidates were all anticipating the possibility of tomfoolery. So they asked their election teams to send them photos of the election reports from each province before they were sent on. That way it will be harder to alter them in Libreville.
The situation is very strained and the three main candidates are going to have to keep their supporters under control when the results are announced. I think they should talk to each other now and adopt a common stance to avoid any unrest. I hope they won't put their individual interests before those of the people of Gabon."