Gabonese Presidential Election : New Eligibility Conditions Afoot
A new bill modifying certain electoral articles has been proposed by the National Assembly.
Compared to the 2016 Presidential elections, the 2023 Presidential elections in Gabon would not be the same again following the proposal for modification of certains articles of the electoral law by the government and its eventual adoption by the National Assembly in the days ahead. Amongst the numerous modifications that have ignited debate is the one obliging all candidates wishing to stand for the elections to have permanently been resident in the country for at least six months without interruption. This measure which also concerns ambassadors has not only raised many questions, but also left the political class divided.
According to opposition leader, Alexandre Barro Chambrier, the move is to eleminate certain candidates from the 2023 presidential election. Reacting from Paris (France), Victoire Lasseny Duboze, former Secretary General of the ruling party now in the opposition camp condemned the bill saying, it is a well calculated attempt to exclude some major challengers from the next presidential election. Another opposition leader, Innocent Bemvone reacting from the United States, called on Parliamentarians and Senators not to vote in favour of the bill.
Despite all these reactions, government has assured all political stakeholders that the bill is not out to eliminate any political stakeholders, but to strengthen the country democratic process which has entered a more serious phase than ever before, « To be a leader of a country one needs to stay in that country for a certain number of time in order to know the reality of the country », the spokesperson for the Gabonese presidency, Jessye Ella Ekogha said while reacting to allegations made by some opposition leaders.