Tension is rising in Gabon’s ruling party, after a leading member over the weekend, publicly resigned from the party at a meeting attended by President Ali Bongo Ondimba.
MP Bertrand Zibi Abeghe went on to criticize the president for unfulfilled promises, he said he no longer wanted to be part of the Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG), surprisingly he chose to resign verbally and also during the president’s “Republican tour” in Minvoul (north) with barely weeks to crucial elections.
“I decided in all good conscience before God and man, to resign from the ruling Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG),” the MP said. “We are still waiting for the electricity,” he said to the cheers and jeers of some 200 people.
I decided in all good conscience before God and man, to resign from the ruling Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG). We are still waiting for the electricity.
Despite the increasing tensions Ali Bongo dismissed Abeghe’s resignation labeling it as nothing other than “sponsored action.” “What I heard did not surprise me,” he told reporters.
On Sunday, the video of the MP’s outburst was widely circulated on social media networks, as proof for those who still doubted divisions within the ruling party.
Gabon:in middle of pres Bongo's campaign rally y'day-MP from his party takes to the stage-complains abt shambolic state of country & resigns— Samira Sawlani (@samirasawlani) July 25, 2016
As the 27 August presidential polls approach, Ali Bongo has much to do with its competitors, mostly dissidents of the ruling party. Those challenging his candidacy insist the incumbent president is a Nigerian adopted by the late Omar Bongo, therefore ineligible to be president.
Petitions have been filed with the Electoral Commission and suits filed at the Constitutional Court over the last months. Bongo has however been passed to run by the electoral body but the court is yet to give its ruling on an application for annulment filed by two opposition candidates against the candidacy of Ali Bongo.
On Saturday, an opposition demonstration was violently repressed by the security forces in the capital, Libreville.