Gabon’s main opposition parties have taken a historic step by nominating Albert Ondo Ossa as their sole candidate for the August 26 presidential election. This alliance, called Alternance 2023, aims to consolidate the voices of the opposition and offer a solid alternative to outgoing President Ali Bongo Ondimba.
In an unprecedented move, the main opposition political formations in Gabon have managed to overcome their differences to join forces behind a common candidate for the imminent presidential election. Albert Ondo Ossa, a respected figure in the opposition, was chosen to lead this alliance called Alternance 2023. This initiative, launched in January, brings together six opposition candidates who have combined their efforts to arrive at a single candidacy.
The choice of a common candidate proved crucial in a political context where the fragmentation of opposition votes often benefited the outgoing president. By presenting a single strong candidate, the opposition parties hope to concentrate the votes and thus increase their chances of winning. The ultimate goal of this coalition is to strengthen democracy by offering Gabonese citizens a credible alternative and a clear choice in the election.
On 26 August, election day, Gabonese voters will be offered a single ballot on which they will have to vote both for the candidate of their choice for the presidency and for the candidate of their party in the legislative election. This method aims to strengthen the links between the different ballots and to encourage voters to make informed and consistent choices.
Incumbent President Ali Bongo Ondimba, 64, has held power since 2009, succeeding his father, Omar Bongo Ondimba, who ruled the country for many years. Ali Bongo was re-elected in 2016, but that election was marred by controversy and allegations of fraud. The opposition, eager to break with this past and build a new political era, sees in Albert Ondo Ossa a candidate capable of bringing together the aspirations of citizens and leading Gabon towards a better future.