Gabon holds Presidential Election
The west central African state of Gabon will hold its presidential election today. There are 14 registered candidates (although four have dropped out of the race) with incumbent President Ali Bongo Ondimba representing the Democratic Party of Gabon (PDG) expected to win.
On 17th August Guy Ndama Nzouba and Casimir Oye Mba withdrew their candidacy in favour of Jean Ping who was selected in January as the candidate for the United Front of Opposition for Change (Le Front uni de l’opposition pour l’alternance). On 20th August Léon Paul Ngoulakia also withdrew in favour of Jean Ping and more recently Roland Désiré Aba’a Minko has also stood down in favour of Ping.
The 14 registered candidates are:
Roland Désiré Aba’a Minko
Pierre-Claver Maganga Moussavou – Parti social-démocrate (PSD)
Guy Ndama Nzouba
Ali Bongo Ondimba – Parti démocratique gabonais (PDG)
Léon Paul Ngoulakia
Raymond Ndong Sima – Independent
Casimir Oyé Mba
Dieudonné Minlama Mintogo – Convention nationale de l’Interposition
Bruno Ben Moubamba – L’Union du peuple gabonais (UPG)
Augustin Moussavou King – Parti socialiste gabonais (PSG)
Abel Mbombe Nzondou
Gérard Elaa Nguema – Union nationale
Paul Mba Abessole – Rassemblement national des bûcherons (RPG).
There are 628,124 registered voters voting at 2580 polling stations between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. local time.
The electoral law allows for only one round of voting and in 2009 Ali Bongo Ondimba won with 41.7% of the vote. An independent candidate, André Mba Obame, came second with 25.88% and Pierre Mamboundou of the Union of the Gabonese People (UPG) came third with 25.22%. Turnout was just 44.29%.
Omar Bongo, the father of the current president, was president of the country from 1967 to June 2009 when he died in post of cancer. His son replaced him in the subsequent election.