Call now! (ID:316610)+1-855-211-0932
HomeIT IndustryGabon declares curfew, cuts Internet on election day

Gabon declares curfew, cuts Internet on election day


POLLING DELAYED: Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba was seeking a third term to continue a 55-year political dynasty he took over from his father in 2009

Gabon’s government announced a nationwide curfew and cut off Internet access on Saturday evening as voting in major national elections was wrapping up.

Gabonese Minister of Communications Rodrigue Mboumba Bissawou said on state television that there would a nightly curfew from 7pm to 6am.

He said Internet access was being restricted indefinitely, adding that there had been calls for violence and the spreading of disinformation.

The announcement came after voters cast ballots to elect new local leaders, national legislators and the country’s next president.

Incumbent Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba was seeking a third seven-year term to continue a 55-year political dynasty. Bongo came to power in 2009 after the death of his father, Omar Bongo, who ruled the country for 41 years.

Bongo, 64, won his current term in office by a narrow margin in 2016 amid violent protests. This year, the opposition united in favor of his main challenger, economics professor Albert Ondo Ossa, one week before Saturday’s elections.

Around 847,000 people were eligible to cast ballots on Saturday. Voters in Libreville said polling stations opened late. Voting was scheduled to begin in the morning, but many election sites had failed to open as of 2pm.

“I’ve finally voted. I’ve been here since 6am. It was at 12 noon that I was able to vote, because the polling station opened at 11am,” said Ballack Obame, a former student leader.

“I’ve never seen an election in Gabon that doesn’t start before 10 o’clock. It’s really sad. I’m going home,” said Theophile Obiang, a pensioner leaning on his cane.

Authorities did not explain the reasons for the delays or indicate when results would be announced.

“Voters must benefit from the 10-hour period provided for by electoral law,” said Paulette Missambo, an independent candidate who withdrew from the presidential race in favor of Ossa.

Ossa’s platform revolves around breaking Gabon out of the “status quo.” Ossa said that if elected, he would dissolve the Gabonese National Assembly, redraw the electoral map and organize a new legislative election, with a goal of forming a government committed to addressing economic inequality.

“Sixty years in power is too much. I’m not afraid of [President Bongo],” Ossa said after casting his ballot at a Libreville school on Saturday afternoon.

Every vote held in Gabon since the country’s return to a multi-party system in 1990 has ended in violence. Clashes between government forces and protesters following the 2016 elections killed four people, according to official figures.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

Source link

Tags: , , ,

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>