Nineteen candidates selected for Gabon’s presidential election

Gabon’s election commission says it has validated19 candidates, including current President Ali Bongo and several former ministers, for a presidential election next month.

Despite opposition claims that he is unfit for the presidency due to suffering a stroke in October 2018 and receiving medical treatment in Morocco, Bongo’s candidacy was approved.

On Sunday, the President of the Gabonese Elections Center, Michel Stephane Bonda, announced that they received 27 applications by the nomination papers filing deadline, out of which 19 were approved.

After the death of his father Omar Bongo, Ali Bongo assumed power through a contentious 2009 election and was re-elected in 2016. However, both of Bongo’s election victories were met with disputes from the opposition, who claimed he won through fraudulent means.

Having ruled for nearly 14 years, he is now seeking a third term as there are no constitutional term limits in Gabon.

Alexandre Barro Chambrier, the former Mines Minister, is emerging as Bongo’s primary challenger in the upcoming presidential election. The Paris-born economist is participating in a presidential election for the first time.

The campaign for the presidential election will start on Aug. 11 and the voting will take place on Aug. 26.

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