Gabon court urged to reject candidature of Ali Bongo

Thursday July 7 2016

Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba speaks during the New York Forum in Libreville, Gabon, on June 14, 2013. Four candidates in Gabon’s August 27 presidential elections on Monday demanded the Constitutional Court to reject the candidature of incumbent President Bongo Ondimba over “doubtful nationality.” PHOTO | AFP

Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba speaks during the New York Forum in Libreville, Gabon, on June 14, 2013. Four candidates in Gabon’s August 27 presidential elections on Monday demanded the Constitutional Court to reject the candidature of incumbent President Bongo Ondimba over “doubtful nationality.” PHOTO | AFP 

XINHUA
By XINHUA
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LIBREVILLE

Four candidates in Gabon’s August 27 presidential elections on Monday demanded the Constitutional Court to reject the candidature of incumbent President Ali Bongo Ondimba over “doubtful nationality.”

“The Constitutional Court has an obligation to reject Ali Bongo’s candidature,” they said in a memorandum to the court’s president Marie Madeleine Mborantsuo, a copy of which was sent to Xinhua.

The memorandum said the incumbent president “should give irrefutable evidence regarding the status of his nationality.”

Article 10 of Gabon’s Constitution bars any Gabonese who acquired the country’s nationality from contesting for the presidency.

‘‘The Constitutional Court rules on something that has been filed before it. So far, no case has been filed before it,” Ms Mborantsuo said after receiving the memorandum.

‘‘The Constitutional Court delivers rulings; it does not hold meetings,” she added.

The final date for submission of nomination papers is July 12. About 20 people have expressed intention to contest in the forthcoming presidential elections, including incumbent president who will be running for his second seven-year term.

Ms Mborantsuo noted that contestation of a candidate’s eligibility, according to the law, occurs 72 hours after the publication of the list of candidates by the National and Permanent Electoral Commission.

In the last few years, controversy emerged over the incumbent president’s birth place, with critics saying he falsified his birth certificate to hide the fact that he was adopted from another country. He assumed the presidency following the 2009 death of his father Omar Bongo, who had presided over the West African nation since 1967.