Was it to hunt evil spirits? A heady smell of incense floated, Tuesday, Sept. 27, inside the VIP lounge of the Palace of the sea in Libreville, the seat of the chair. Ali Bongo, 57, was officially re-invested for a second term at the head of Gabon . Less than four days after the Constitutional Court had, in the heart of the night, validated re-election, the swearing was organized in haste. The day before, in the president’s entourage, many uncertainties remained about the time of the ceremony, the guest list. “We want go quickly because there are urgent problems. It takes put up dialogue, we hope that a government of openness that could be formed by the weekend, “ justifies spokesman Government, Alain-Claude bile By-Nze.
In Gabon, power is a family affair
Tuesday, seaside palace was packed, but Ali Bongo Ondimba has never seemed so alone. Among his African peers, only Togo’s Gnassingbe Eyadema, another heir, Mali Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, Niger’s Mahamadou Issoufou or Sao Toméen Evaristo Carvalho made the trip to Libreville. However, no major neighbors was there. The Congolese Denis Sassou-Nguesso with whom relations are very bad, the Equatorial Guinea Teodoro Obiang Nguema, Cameroon’s Paul Biya were absent. Just as the president of AU the Chadian Idriss Deby, who has sent his prime minister. staunch ally, the Morocco himself has sent his head of government during the election period, Abdelilah Benkirane. “You can not say as congratulatory messages, including African, showered” quips a French diplomat.
Among the Western embassies, the ambassadors of France the United States, the European Union went to the ceremony, but after the release of their communiqués give little credence to the reality of victory at the polls of Ali Bongo Ondimba. The welcome was reserved for them was icy. ” Americans ? The French ? It was thought that France knew us better than the Europeans but we understood that Europe had its candidate and she does everything for not release while Jean Ping lost the election, “ irritated Alain-Claude bile By-Nze.
Between Paris and Libreville, relations have never reached this point cooling. “The announcement of the results is a fact, but we do not take action, we do not take note of this election” says one in Paris. “I do not think [Ali Bongo] ensure strengthened or the map policy nor in diplomacy, including on its own continent” , the source added. French diplomats do not hide their concern for the future stability of this historic ally on the continent. The only point on which both capitals agree is the need for a dialogue policy . “We all duty not to build a wall between us. (…) I want this dialogue so we definitely the logic of permanent conflict which greatly distorts our values, our relationships and our life together, “ said Ali Bongo Ondimba during his swearing. The fears in his camp are real. “We are sitting on the edge of a volcano and we do not know yet which way the lava flow” says one of his advisers.
remains to know with which the Gabonese head of state open these discussions . Three candidates in the election, Bruno Ben Moubamba, Raymond Ndong Sima and Dieudonné Minlama Mintogo, went to the inauguration. Between them, they have not raised more than 1.5% of the vote. The day before, Jean Ping pretended not to be aware of the event. More prolix, his spokesman, Jean-Gaspard Ayi Ntoutoume, denounced “work on a hussar, a coup.”