The announcement from the court took place 31 hours ago, confirming Ali Bongo as President of Gabon. In an interesting twist, the court accused both candidates of cheating and Bongo’s lead for victory increased in the final confirmation. President Bongo has told Ping he would be arrested and his government has already arrested a high-ranking ex-official that backed Ping. As a westerner, arresting an opponent and those who backed the opposition is unfamiliar territory. I am pleased we do not attempt this practice. Our politics are far from honorable but at least we have not fallen so far as to arrest those of differing opinions or politics.
So, with that I add nothing has changed. Bongo remains in power, no unrest has developed with this verdict, and we remain censored with our internet curfew and social media suppression. I remain cautiously pleased that no one else has been harmed in this emotional election. I say cautiously because it is has only been 31 hours since the announcement. Cautiously optimistic is the phrase of the week for all of us with the newness of the this next era, or continuation of it all actuality.
Bongo family dynasty will continue on into a 5th decade of power. I am curious to see how Bongo addresses, and acts upon, his next Presidency, it being contested 2 for 2 now. In addition, what will the people do over these next seven years? They have twice protested a Bongo victory, will they accept it or decide that as a Republic their voice stands for more?
The country, leadership, and the people need continued prayer and wisdom for direction, not from man but from God. Continuing to look at Bongo or Ping for salvation of Gabon and the betterment of their lives will only bring disappointment.
photo from cameroonintelligencerport.com
25 days can be really short or drag on for eternity, depending on circumstances.
25 days in Gabon, post-election, is dragging on due to the continued shut down of internet. The first five days we had a complete shut down of internet services and phones. We may have to learn to send carrier pigeons again. Does anyone know how long it takes to train a carrier pigeon?
Since the 5th of September we were put on a curfew from 6 to 6. Don’t be fooled as though this is some generous gesture, it is nothing more than opening the internet for business hours therefore avoiding further international heat. Like clockwork, come 6 am or 6 pm internet goes on and off respectively. Thank you United Nations for interfering, we appreciate having something. No curfew would be better.
Our access to the internet has its boundaries. There is no Social Media allowed.
No Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, You Tube, or the like. You cannot get news video clips, check out new dinner recipes, or Skype family. You cannot for that matter text or use your Vonage phone system. Yup, no phone calls that require a Wi-Fi service.
For 2 weeks, email is the only mode of communication and though I am grateful to have at least that, it is a suppression of speech for sure in modern times.
Snail mail was held up and now only slowly coming in. I am still waiting for items orders one and a half months ago from Amazon Prime. For the most part, many items are beginning to arrive but we are about to undergo another round of riots sooo… missing snail mail items will likely be an ongoing problem.
This week the Constitutional Court is ruling on the election results. There is much gossip as to how people think it will go but either way, we all suspect another round of riots and shut down will occur.
Once again, prayers for the country and people of, and in, Gabon are needed. No one wants to see people running amuck burning building and trucks down, guns and machetes, or men being grabbed out of their homes and taken.
If there were ever an example needed that words have different meanings to different people, this is it. At least I would hope words like “republic” and “democracy” differ to an American. In reality this is no more than an example of the slow progression of western influence while expecting immediate change.
Gabon’s two elections, now and 2009, demonstrate the republic change to come in this young country. It takes time and it take a change in the younger generations to decide something different for themselves as they mature and take power in their later years. Our roots are very different and we cannot expect the same results. Our founding people fled and built a new nation from (mostly) common ground. Taking a western message to a country is not the same, it requires convincing people they want change. There is not the same passion or mission America began with.
While they sort out for themselves what they want, power or democracy, I sit by without internet and hope this reaches you all. I turn in school work during what I have dubbed “Bongo Business Hours” and we read a lot at night or just turn in earlier than normal. If nothing else, maybe I can find my fountain of youth with the extra sleep.