…Gabon’s electoral commission has continually failed to meet the public’s demands for transparency and confidence in managing free and fair elections. Data from the Afrobarometer survey conducted in September and October of 2015 reveal that a majority (51%) of Gabonese had no trust “at all” in the election commission. Another 24% reported “a little bit” of trust. These are the lowest trust ratings of any election commission among the 36 African countries surveyed by Afrobarometer.
Afrobarometer data reveal that seven in 10 Gabonese citizens (71%) believe votes are “never” or only “sometimes” counted fairly. A mere 15% believe that the vote count is always fair. Citizens who doubt that votes are counted fairly may question the government’s announcement of fewer than 6,000 votes separating the two contenders and 99% turnout in the president’s home area.