National legislative elections - originally scheduled for December 2016 and then July 2017 - are set to take place on Saturday, April 28. Demonstrations and political rallies are to be anticipated in the lead-up to the vote, as well as following the announcement of election results, particularly in the capital Libreville. An increased security presence is likely at any large event and clashes between protesters and security personnel are possible.
The elections were delayed twice by the Constitution Court, 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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