Post-election coups in Africa caused by lack of poll observers: Chebukati
The former chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Wafula Chebukati, has said that election-related military coups across Africa are undermining the democratic progress the continent has made, particularly due to the absence of observers in many of these elections.
Chebukati added that election observers play a vital role in monitoring elections, promoting transparency and ensuring accountability in the electoral process.
“The avalanche of election-related military coups in Africa is disrupting democratic gains. In most of these elections, observers have been excluded from the electoral process. Election observers are necessary as they contribute to transparency & accountability of an election outcome,” he wrote on his official Twitter page.
In Gabon, the leaders of the recent coup appointed a general as interim president after seizing power following disputed elections in which President Ali Bongo Ondimba, whose family has ruled for 55 years, was declared the winner.
The coup drew condemnation from the African Union (AU) and concern from Nigeria about the spread of autocratic tendencies on the continent.
Bongo, who took over from his father Omar in 2009, has been placed under house arrest and one of his sons has been arrested by the coup leaders on charges of treason. In a pre-dawn address, the officers declared the dissolution of ‘all the institutions of the Republic’, the annulment of the election results and the closure of borders.
Gabon’s President Ali Bongo appeared in a video from his home, calling on his “friends around the world” to draw attention to his house arrest by the military.