On the eve of the presidential election in Gabon, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today encouraged all Gabonese to vote responsibly and urged the candidates and other political stakeholders to abstain from any acts of incitement and maintain a peaceful atmosphere before, during and after the election.
“The Secretary-General calls on all Gabonese to exercise their civic duty responsibly and looks forward to the holding of the poll in a peaceful and credible manner,” Mr. Ban’s spokesman said in a statement.
The candidates include President Ali Bongo, seeking a second seven-year term, and Jean Ping, a former chairman of the African Union Commission.
Commending the Government of Gabon and the Autonomous and Permanent National Electoral Commission (CENAP) for the timely preparations for the election, Mr. Ban further welcomed the deployment of regional and international election observers in Gabon and stressed the importance of the free and responsible participation of the media, the spokesman said.
“The Secretary-General urges all political stakeholders, in particular the candidates, to exercise restraint, abstain from any acts of incitement or the use of inflammatory statements, and maintain a peaceful atmosphere before, during and after the election,” the spokesman said, adding that Mr. Ban also called on all candidates to contribute to the integrity of the electoral process by addressing any complaints through established legal and constitutional channels.