The Gabonese Electoral Center (CGE) announced in early August that a single round of legislative elections will be held on October 6 and another for local elections on October 27. Candidates have until Monday, August 20, to apply to be on the ballot. Campaigning for the legislative election will start on September 25 and end on October 5. The official campaign period for the local elections will run from October 13-26. An increase in demonstrations and political rallies are anticipated in the weeks leading up to the vote, particularly after campaigning officially begins. An increased security presence is likely at any large event and clashes between protesters and security personnel are possible.
Legislative elections have been delayed multiple times by the Constitutional Court since December 2016, officially due to a lack of resources.
Clashes between protesters and security forces and widespread looting occurred following the August 2016 presidential elections, which saw incumbent President Ali Ben Bongo win a second seven-year term. Opposition supports claimed that the results of the election were fraudulent. The violence resulted in significant disruptions in Libreville, where protesters erected barricades from burning tires and vehicles. Some international flights to and from the country were temporarily suspended, parts of the parliament building were set on fire, over 1000 people were arrested, and internet and SMS communications were cut for days.
All those present in Gabon are advised to keep abreast of the situation and the sociopolitical climate and avoid all public gatherings due to the risk of violence.
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