Opposition leaders in Gabon on Friday called for “each and every Gabonese” to counter the candidature of outgoing President Ali Bongo Ondimba in the election set to be held on August 27, citing “doubts” about his nationality.
“We invite each and every Gabonese to go, now and write a letter to the Election Commission to oppose the candidacy of Ali Bongo and require disqualification of the electoral process”, said three of the main opposition candidates received by the autonomous and permanent national electoral Commission (Cenap), just over two months before the country heads to the polls.
“We encourage them to stand up against the denial of rights, deception, and the abuse of,” the opposition leaders added in a statement read outside the electoral body’s office.
Ali Bongo is an accident of history that cannot and should not be repeated.
Gabon’s opposition have maintained that President Bongo who was elected seven years ago is not the natural son of his predecessor, Omar Bongo Ondimba, who died in June 2009 after almost 42 years in power.
“Ali Bongo is an accident of history that cannot and should not be repeated,” said the opposition candidates who were led by Gabon’s former Assembly President, Guy Nzouba Ndama, former African Union Commision head, Jean Ping, and the former governor of the Bank of Central African States, Casimir Oye Mba.
Opponents – many of whom served in the former regime of his father – accuse him of being an adopted child and say he was born in Nigeria.
A birth certificate, which is in the archives of the central civil status department of the French Foreign Ministry, in Nantes, shows that Ali Bongo was born February 9, 1959 in Brazzaville, capital of the former French Equatorial Africa ( AEF) to which was attached Gabon.
The campaign in the central African nation is taking place in a tense atmosphere after Ping, who has already declared his candidacy, was summoned by judicial authorities who accused him of violating public order.
Gabon’s government filed a complaint against Ping following the release of a video on social networks, where he allegedly said he wanted to “get rid of cockroaches” ahead of the presidential election.
Ping denied having made such comments and refused to appear in court.