Thursday, September 3, 2009

Will Barack Obama congratulate Ali Ben Bongo?

Rene Aboghé Ella (see picture), Election Commission President, has not announced a winner in Gabon's Presidential election. It's the Minister of the interior of Gabon that announced the "result", which off course was that Ali Ben Bongo, son of former President Omar Bongo, had won. International media, Reuters, AP, etc etc immediately crowned Ali King by declaring him the "winner", disappointing.

New media and diaspora have been and are playing an important role in Gabon's Presidential elections so far. Online, a non partisan platform for digital activists around Gabon has been formed. Developments and rumors are tumbling over eachother in a fast pace. Pierre Mamboundou has been severely injured, two French embassies burned, American citizens are calling their embassies in fear. A tv station of Andre Mba Obame has been taken down by gunmen, ahead of the publication of the "results". The rumor goes around that Andre Mba Obame has been killed. What bothers me is the fact that many international news agencies are publishing these results with the title "Bongo wins Presidential election" while the President of the election committee CENAP has sofar refused to announce these results. I am wondering if Ali Ben Bongo will receive any congratulation telegrams in the coming hours. I am sure he is standing next to his fax hoping for the blessing from Washington DC.

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