The Gabon wakes up Friday with the fear of further violence and the total uncertainty while the Constitutional Court must decide the electoral dispute between incumbent President Ali Bongo Ondimba and his rival Jean Ping.
At bay for weeks, Gabonese do not even know if the Court will make its decision on Friday, within the time provided by the Constitution, fifteen days after the appeal Jean Ping against the re-election of Ali Bongo.
The President of the Court, Marie-Madeleine Mborantsuo, let herself float on Thursday night suspense at the end of a public meeting, where lawyers Messrs. Bongo Ping and conducted a final skirmish.
“The case is under advisement. In principle, the decision could be made at the hearing of 23 September, but I ask the clerk to the date, the time on the boards of both parties,” said the woman who holds in his hands the future of this small country (1.8 million inhabitants) to large natural resources (oil, timber, manganese mines …).
Entering by Jean Ping, the Court may either validate the election of Ali Bongo or cancel the presidential election in one round of 27 August, to succeed to the applicant who claims the “elected president”.
Row behind Jean Ping, former darling child of the regime of the late President Omar Bongo, part of the 628,000 voters wants to end the reign of the same family in power since 1967.
“Ali must go,” chanted opponents for Ali Bongo, 57, first elected in 2009 to the death of his father, remained in power for 42 years.
In the streets of the capital Libreville, the tension is already palpable. A few hundred meters from the solemn setting of the Court, the Republican Guard had cut in late afternoon traffic on the waterfront in front of the presidential palace.
The executive fears of further violence to the announcement of the court decision, especially if it confirms the victory of Ali Bongo.
Ministers have already warned Jean Ping, 73, he could be arrested if they crossed the “red line” in the event that it would not get successful in court.
On 31 August, the announcement of the re-election of the incumbent president had provoked demonstrations, riots, deaths, looting, assault police and hundreds of arrests in a country accustomed to civil peace.
In the economic capital Port-Gentil, affected by post-election violence this year and 2009, the union of employees of oil (ONEP) asked employers (Total, Shell …) the ability to “stay home, with families “from Thursday.
In anticipation of this weekend from all dangers, Gabonese stormed on Thursday bakeries and supermarkets to store provisions as three weeks ago.
The time is still however the law. Faced with nine constitutional judges, draped in their red robes, lawyers Messrs. Ping and Bongo argued for ten minutes.
Jean Ping of the Board, Jean-Rémy Bantsantsa, called for the recount in the province of Haut-Ogooué, office by office, in the presence of international experts.
In the province of Haut-Ogooué, family stronghold of the Bongo family, the outgoing president has officially obtained 95% of the vote to 99% participation, guaranteeing across the country a lead of about 5,000 votes out Jean Ping, on just over 325,000 voters, according to the results of the election commission who set fire to the powder 31 August.
Lawyers for Ali Bongo ruled inadmissible the main demand of Jean Ping – recount the office by office voice in the province of Haut-Ogooué – considering that this procedure is not provided for by the electoral law.
In a very offensive defense strategy, the Bongo camp even asked the ineligibility of Jean Ping, accusing him of complicity in the post-election violence in late August. Rejected a request by the prosecution.
Two Franco-Gabonese nationals of complaints were filed Wednesday in France, for arbitrary arrest, torture and attempted murder, among others, announced a group of lawyers who also account to the International Criminal Court (ICC).