[Gabon] Synoptic table of an opposition with 3 chapels: the bluffers, the old horses of return and the obstinate credible | Gabonreview.com | News from Gabon |

About 240 days before the next presidential election in Gabon, the different camps are getting into battle order. Having positioned themselves against the outgoing power, in a country where a single opposition candidacy has already proved its fruitfulness, three categories claiming to be part of the forces of change stand out: the mercantile weathervanes, the old horses returning from the frolics, and those who obviously really want it. Synthesis of scattered opinions and readings collected in different social strata of the country.

© Gabonreview

Patriotic and Pan-African League for the Defense of Sovereignty (Lippades) led by Thierry d’Argendieu Kombila; Congress of the Republican and Patriotic Opposition (Corp), made up of former Upegists (Bonaventure Nzigou Manfoumbi, Matthieu Mboumba Nziengui, David Mbadinga, Richard Moulomba Mombo, etc.) and other political actors such as Simon Adolphe Evouna whose party no. has never held a single meeting since its creation, but remainsavailable“. There is also the bloc gathered around Paulette Missambo, Alexandre Barro Chambrier, François Ndong Obiang, Pierre-Claver Maganga Moussavou, Louis-Gaston Mayila and figures from civil society, like Albert Ondo Ossa. Opposition forces to Ali Bongo Ondimba are scattered, but optimistic observers believe that the strongest grouping will bring the other two together…

We will certainly need another man of the caliber of Zacharie Myboto, the initiator of the meetings that led, in August 2016, to the appointment of a single or consensual candidate. Because, for the moment, as in 2016, some contradictions between the different groups can be noted. Beyond the common ideas defended by these different chapels (free and transparent elections, renewal of the electoral register, appointment of new members of the office of the Gabonese Election Center, renewal of the National Council for Democracy, etc.) questions arise about the real anchoring in the opposition of some of these families.

Matthieu Mboumba Nziengui, David Mbadinga, Nzigou Manfoumbi: a strategy to better ‘sell yourself’?

About 240 days from the next presidential election, one could ask questions about the Republican and Patriotic Opposition Congress Convention (Corp) whose most parties or personalities have so far supported the action of Ali Bongo Ondimba. Member parties, for the most part, or personalities affiliated with the conglomerate of formations of the republican and social majority for emergence, have these political formations and personalities really changed gear? Or is it a “strategy“designed for better”sellin a few months to their former champion?

Many observers of Gabonese political life give little credence to their current position. Who does not remember, say some, thered t-shirtsof Matthieu Mboumba Nziengui’s UPG calling for the Republican majority candidate to vote in 2016? Who does not remember David Mbadinga’s decision to leave the Jean Ping camp? A few weeks later, the former companion of the historical opponent Pierre Mamboundou took part in the political dialogue of Angondjé, was then called to the government as Minister of Commerce, then PCA of the National Social Security Fund. Who does not remember the positions taken by Bonaventure Nzigou Manfoumbi in the National Assembly since his election as deputy for Douigny? It is common knowledge that the man has never voted against government bills. In short, their sudden irruption in the opposition camp is surprising. Today, the Congress Convention also claims not to know for the moment which candidate it will support in the presidential election of August 2023…

Jean de Dieu Moukagni Iwangou: rantings, cherished rantings

The second group, the Pan-African and Patriotic League for the Defense of Sovereignty (Lippades), is essentially made up of former relatives of Jean Ping, some of whom, like Jean de Dieu Moukagni Iwangou, have tasted the charm and the prestige of a ministerial folding seat, and who, as one can imagine, would not refuse to return to it. This group is composed, according to the former Minister of Higher Education, and president of the conference of presidents of the Lippades, “honest and consistent men», «not subservient to anyone“, and “free of their ideas and their ideals“.

Integrate? Coherent? But where did Moukagni Iwangou get this? “Not subservient to anyone»? If these are not foot calls, then what are they? Thierry d’Argendieu Kombila, president of the group, underlines for his part “that unlike other opponents“, the 12 member parties of the Lippades recognize Ali Bongo Ondimba as President of the Republic. “All is said !“Said an LD deputy who preferred to remain anonymous.

Maganga Moussavou in a coalition? Weird…

The third group seems more solid in the eyes of the public. Politicians Paulette Missambo (National Union, UN), Alexandre Barro Chambrier (RPM), François Ndong Obiang (React), Louis-Gaston Mayila (UPNR), members of civil society, Albert Ondo Ossa, and others build, part piece after piece, the puzzle of solidarity, with their call for the unity of all the forces of change.

The fact remains that the presence alongside them of Pierre-Claver Maganga Moussavou (Social Democratic Party, PSD) is causing a stir in public opinion. Many in the opinion wonder, in fact, if the latter who has always gone it alone at the time of the elections, especially presidential, will definitively adopt a unitary posture.

More than 240 days to have a capacity to overcome

This is how the different poles of the Gabonese opposition present themselves today: there are those who seem moderate and therefore ready for anything, and those who try to move the lines.

Some questions remain all the same: what moral authority of the opposition will succeed in confederating again the main forces of change around a single or consensual candidacy as in August 2016? Presumably Paulette Missambo and François Ndong Obiang work there. But, very active in the corridor negotiations that led to the single candidacy of the opposition in 2016, does Pastor Georges Bruno Ngoussi, founder of the International Church of Nazareth, still want it today? In any case, through its impact on public opinion, the operation of August 18, 2016 had made it possible to unify the various opposition candidates around Jean Ping. Is the August 2016 model no longer exerting a force of attraction within the opposition? Too early to say.

A new political chapter is opening in which strategy will not be the least important thing. “Although the presidential election is in two rounds, the ability to come together from the first round, to fight together, for a capacity to win cannot be missing in this strategy. Privileging personal tactics to the detriment of the collective interest, this is what the Gabonese do not want“, underlines the deputy LD quoted above. “In the torments that Gabon will undoubtedly go through in a few weeks, we will have to put our emotions to rest, put our attitudes in unison with the nation and be united around an ideal: to achieve alternation, because the state of the country requires serious behavior“Says a close friend of Alexandre Barro Chambrier.

The next presidential election will take place in principle in August 2023. Unlike the last electoral consultations, this ballot will be in two rounds.

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[Gabon] Synoptic table of an opposition with 3 chapels: the bluffers, the old horses of return and the obstinate credible | Gabonreview.com | News from Gabon |

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