Gabonese will have to wait longer for results of the August 27 elections despite the heightened tension in the country.
The Interior Minister, Pacome Moubelet-Boubeya, announced postponement of the official announcement of results which was slated for 16:00 GMT. He said it had been pushed by two hours to 19:00 GMT after the ministry meets with the electoral body (CENAP).
According to the minister, “any alleged result broadcast before, during or after the official proclamation is a lie and violation of the law.”
The statement by the minister was posted on social media platforms facebook and twitter. It warned against the dissemination of false results by people with the aim of creating tension and usurping the powers of the CENAP.
Pending the final verdict of the polls, the Gabonese are called to more “vigilant about their sources of information.”
The victory calls and tension
The tension in the country does not only come from the events of 7 years ago when violence broke out in the country after Bongo won his first term. In the case of 2016, the victory calls by both leading candidates is the main reason for the tension.
Jean Ping is more outward with his victory calls, he has issued two press statements (on Facebook and Twitter), addressed his supporters in Libreville assuring them of victory. He has also claimed receiving congratulatory messages from international political players on his victory.
“I am elected,” Ping said on Sunday calling on the president to congratulate him later on Monday.
The Bongo camp has also repeatedly dismissed Ping’s assertions stating that it is the responsibility of the CENAP to declare official results and not any candidate. Bongo’s spokesman, however, said on Saturday evening that “Ali Bongo leads with a lead that can not be reversed.”
In a subtle response to Ping, Bongo tweeted as follows, ‘‘A democratic election has laws, I respect each as I will respect the choice of the Gabonese people,’‘ adding that he was never going to add his voice to people howling and hurling invectives.