Gabon Electoral Commission to Declare Winner of Vote
By Peter Clottey
02 September 2009
Gabon's Electoral Commission is scheduled to announce the winner of last Sunday's presidential election Wednesday.
Security has been tightened ahead of the announcement as supporters of the two main opposition candidates began gathering at their offices.
Pierre Mamboundou of the opposition Alliance for Change and Restoration (ACR) and independent candidate Andre Mba Obame have both condemned the heavy security presence.
Desire Ename, publisher of Gabon independent Echos Dunord newspaper said all of the three leading presidential candidates have appealed for calm ahead of the electoral body's announcement.
"The electoral commission is going to meet this morning Wednesday to see of the result and I think that to make sure that the incumbent and (others) at the elections will be represented. And they will see the total way the election went on… and I think we will have the results in the night," Ename said.
He said one of the opposition presidential contenders has appealed to his supporters to respect the electoral commission.
"Mr. Andre Mba Obame asked his people to be (calm) and to let the electoral commission to work," he said.
Ename said the ruling party candidate and son of the late Gabonese President is already claiming victory.
"Mr. Ali Bongo said that he has won (the election) and that the electoral commission and their officers should deliver the results," Ename said.
He said the other opposition candidate heaped praise on his supporters.
"Mr. Pierre Mamboundou thanked the people for having (confidence in him) and so on and so forth," he said.
Ename said Gabonese are anxiously awaiting the results of the vote.
"Most of the people are waiting for the results to be given. And I think that people are really determined to see real change in the country," Ename said.
He said partisans of the ruling party have been unusually quiet.
"There is no explosion of joy from the part of the PDG (Gabon Democratic Party) the party in power," he said.
Ename said Gabonese want equitable distribution of their country's oil-wealth.
"Yes exactly, this is what they want. They want strong distribution of the wealth of the country. We can't understand that a country like Gabon (which) is so wealthy but poverty is more like 90 percent…most of the people live in shanty towns. So there is a total discrepancy between the wealth of the country and what has been done," Ename said.
Meanwhile, political observers say for the first time in as many years, there seems to be no clear candidate to win last Sunday's vote.
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