In one province in Gabon, the stronghold of President Ali Bongo, the results declared by the Gabonese Electoral Commission indicated  that 99.83% of the electorate turned out to vote, and that 95.46% of them voted for Ali Bongo! The question is: how can we ensure that election results in Africa are not dependent on an electoral commission or constitutional court that is in the pocket of the incumbent?

Transparency International, the anti-corruption organisation, calls for the government of Gabon to uphold civil society’s right to peaceful activism following the detention last week of more than 40 people, including Grégory Ngbwa Mintsa, the 2010 recipient of the Transparency International Integrity Award. The civil society activists, who were taken into custody on 8 June and later released, were planning an alternative forum to a government-sponsored New York Forum Africa, a regional event more

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called on Gabonese authorities to drop legal proceedings against six journalists in connection with articles raising questions about use of a presidential plane. According to a CPJ statement, two of the journalists have fled the country fearing arrest after being summoned by police for interrogation.

Gabon's constitutional court has ruled that parliamentary elections will take place on 17 December as planned, despite opposition demands for a delay in the poll to introduce biometric voters cards, officials said. Gabon's opposition has been campaigning for months to delay the elections in order to introduce the biometric system, which has been implemented in many countries for digital chips in passports and electoral cards, using individual biological data such as fingerprints or eye more


Outraged by President Bongo Odimba’s visit to the US from 6-9 June, Gabonese civil society has written to US President Barack Obama, calling on him to take a stand against the Bongo government’s devastation of democracy. The letter also asks Obama to revisit the speech he made in Accra after his election, which it says should inform his relationship with African leaders.