Electoral Violence and Prospects for Peace in Gabon
About This Project
Gabon is one of only two countries in the Central African sub-region that has not experienced severe conflict since independence. However, the recurrence of electoral violence in Gabon in the last two Presidential Elections of 2009 and 2016 raises concerns as to the prospects for peace in this once apparently peaceful country in Central Africa. The purpose of this study is to determine the causes of electoral violence in Gabon and explore avenues for sustainable peace in that country.
What is the context of this research?
Electoral violence in Gabon depicts a situation where elections are not playing their peacebuilding role in Gabon and instead tend to be a source of conflict. Its recurrence in two successive elections suggests that there is a deficiency of mechanisms to ensure peaceful elections. The background to this problem and the prevailing conditions suggest that in spite of the apparent peace, the possibility of future electoral disputes that spell challenges for sustainable peace for Gabon looms. Despite this situation, little is known in a comprehensive way from the last two electoral disputes on the causes of electoral violence in Gabon and what the possible avenues for peace are.
What is the significance of this project?
The recurrence of electoral violence in Gabon suggests not only the existence of a long hidden socio-political fracture but a deepening one. The elections themselves seem to be part and parcel of the problem instead of playing its peacebuilding role in Gabonese democracy. Examining the causes of electoral violence and exploring prospects of peace in the case Gabon is particularly relevant to inform academia and policy makers on avenues for sustainable peace in Gabon. As such, this study is important as it seeks to ensure that future elections in Gabon return to playing their primary role of peaceful political contest. It will therefore benefit the government, political parties, legal practitioners, jurists and political scientists, the electorate and the general public.
What are the goals of the project?
This study seeks to examine the causes and enabling conditions of electoral violence in Gabon and explore avenues for peaceful elections in Gabon. The study will examine the opinions of major stakeholders and experts on the questions addressed. This broad objective can be best met by examining specifically how election dispute management has been handled so far in Gabon, and what can be done for election disputes to be better prevented in Gabon.