In Gabon, has the discord between the military junta that seized power on August 30th and the leaders of the Alternance 2023 platform come to an end? Both sides have taken firm stances on proclaiming the “true” election results or organizing new transparent, free, and credible elections.
A consultation was scheduled to take place on Sunday between the 2023 platform and civil society, but it was postponed to allow representatives of the platform to meet with General Brice Oligui Nguema, who invited them to the Presidential Palace. The transitional president received leaders of this faction of the opposition, often referred to as the radical opposition.
General Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema chose the prestigious Moroccan salon of the Palace by the seaside to host the members of Alternance 2023. As each guest entered, they received a warm and lengthy embrace from the new leader of the nation, according to our correspondent in Libreville, Yves-Laurent Goma.
In recent days, a standoff has developed between the Alternance 2023 platform and the Committee for Transition and the Restoration of Institutions (CTRI). Alternance demands the continuation of the compilation of results from the presidential election held on August 26.
The transitional president, however, is adamant in his stance. On Saturday, he emphasized to journalists that the election was annulled due to poor organization and that recounting the votes would still result in Ali Bongo being declared the winner.
“The priority is the country, the nation,” summarized François Ndong Obiang, President of the Alternance 2023 platform. “Everything went well in a spirit of courtesy, mutual respect, fraternity, and patriotic zeal,” explained François Ndong Obiang, who is also the president of the Réagir party (Reappropriation of Gabon for its independence and reconstruction), in an interview with David Baché after his meeting with General Brice Oligui Nguema.
As for the future essential collaboration between Alternance and the military, remains to be defined. “We would like to know the framework, but we are particularly open. We are civilians; we want to practice democracy. The military felt that democracy was under threat, so they seized power, promising to restore power to civilians after restructuring it, and we agreed. But even to do that, it should be done with those who have the skills and qualities.”
Presidential candidate Albert Ondo Ossa, absent during this meeting, may not be entirely averse to dialogue, according to his associates.