A few months ago I decided to leave the United Kingdom – and Europe altogether – to settle in Libreville, Gabon indefinitely.
Having reached Libreville ten days ago, I was right on time to witness (and experience) the country’s ongoing political crisis sparked by the recent general election results.
The vote took place on Friday August 26 and the results were announced four days later, on August 30. For the past week, the internet and other telecommunications have been suspended, so I was unable to write any article about what was happening.
Here is, instead, a collection of some my thoughts in retrospect as I watched this country I now call home become the main stage of the latest drama in African politics:
1. Is going to be like a Part 2 of the 2009 presidential election?
2. How credible an opposition are you when it feels like you were a part of the government only yesterday?
3. How did the president afford the cost of renting what seemed like every single advertisement spot in town?
4. The opposition leader is the ex-husband of the sister of his rival (and daughter of the late president) … Can we be honest for a minute and admit that this election is more of a family spat?
5. Is it a coincidence that everyone saying ‘it’s going to be alright’ has a Western passport?
6. Should I start stocking food like all the other people are doing?
7. My driver says people will die. The question now is how many?
8. Are these military men I see in the streets ready to kill?
9. Are these people I see in the streets ready to die?
10. Is it a coincidence that spokespersons for the presidential candidates fled to France after the results were announced? Some people have it lucky.
11. Exactly how many days does one really need to count some 600,000 votes?
12. Also, why is no one is mentioning that the participation actually led to a total number of 356 890 votes?
13. I wonder what would happen if this scenario was to play out in Europe or in the US?
14. What are the chances that Western countries and Western-based international organisations use this drama as an excuse to parade their ‘democracy best practices’?
15. What is democracy in 2016 anyway?
16. Is France going to be called out for acting like colonialism is still a thing?
17. Correction. Will French politicians and experts act like colonialism is still a thing?
18. Will the UK and the US ignore the situation because Gabon is a Francophone country?
19. Will the rest of the world ignore the situation because Gabon is in Africa ?
20. Why can’t these government officials be held accountable for delivering the results on time?
21. Why can’t they be held accountable for pretty much anything?
22. Am I the only one who thinks it’s weird that the Interior Minister announced the results?
23. How come the results are out on French TV before they are on Gabonese TV?
24. Wait. So Bongo didn’t lose?
25. Exactly how do they expect to justify the results?
26. Exactly how do they intend to deal with the international community?
27. Have they thought of how foreign investors would act after finding out the results?
28. How do you speak of a transparent election when there is literally the President’s campaign logo and a song for the President being broadcasted on national television after the results are broadcasted?
29. Wasn’t there supposed to be international observers? Where are they? Is no-one going to question how they failed to do their job?
30. Will Gabon be the ‘new’ Ivory Coast?
31. Would Frank Underwood have dared pull such questionable figures?
32. Could Olivia Pope ‘handle’ the situation?
33. Are there any political TV show based in an African country?
34. Am I the only one to think it’s odd that the main news on Gabon is coming from France?
35. Can we talk about how they just cut the internet like nobody’s business?
36. What is up with electoral processes in Central Africa?
37. It’s been a week and both candidates are standing their ground.
38. What now?