This Saturday, the internet connection was cut in Gabon, where journalists and observers were asked not to follow the general elections.
As sources close to the authorities had indicated this, internet access was cut off this Saturday, August 26, in Gabon, in the midst of voting for the general elections. A cut officially announced by the power in place: Ali Bongo Ondimba's Minister of Communication has indeed estimated that, in order to avoid "the spread of calls for violence" as well as the dissemination of "false information" , the government had "taken the decision to suspend until further notice access to the Internet throughout the territory".
A denial of democracy to be expected. On ballot, Ali Bongo knows that he risks losing at the polls against the leader of the Alternance 2023 platform Albert Ondo Ossa. Since this morning, the elections have started and the opposition has already deplored several concerns, in particular concerning the ballot papers. Previously, the same opposition was surprised at the changes made to the electoral law and denounced the implementation of the “single bulletin”.
Alternance 2023 knew it: this Saturday was going to be full of pitfalls and the opposition coalition knew full well that by cutting off internet access, the CEO of Ali Bongo was going to try to steal a possible victory from him. Because that is what it is all about: by pressing the “off” button on its internet, the government avoids any dispute, despite the problems encountered by voters on the ground.
Place for organized fraud?
The government is going even further, by decreeing a curfew throughout the territory, starting tomorrow. This “will be in force every day, from 19 p.m. until 6 a.m.,” Minister Rodrigue Mboumba Bissawou declared on television, now the only channel that provides information.
Information controlled by the CEO of Bongo. Because on the side of Albert Ondo Ossa, who already denounced, at the start of the day, "orchestrated fraud" by the power in place, it is no longer possible to communicate on social networks. The fraud, however, is very visible: polling stations did not open until very late, voters were prevented from going to the polling stations and Albert Ondo Ossa's ballots were not available in many many centers.
What will happen now? The connection should not improve until the results are announced. In addition to the blackout, the ballot will have ample opportunity to be rigged: foreign journalists have also been generally banned from following the elections, while observers have also been excluded. Thus leaving the field open to organized fraud.