Gabonews is reporting that legislative elections, which were scheduled for some date between July and December this year, are likely to be delayed until next year to give time for a biometric test to be included in the voting procedure.
The delaying of elections sounds like a typical would-be autocrat’s tactic. Certainly, President Ali Bongo Ondimba and his government have been criticised in recent weeks. There have been localised Arab spring-like demonstrations against the regime.
However, the decision to introduce a biometric test has long been a key demand of the opposition and there is, apparently, an all-party consensus on delaying the election to facilitate this change. Presumably, the opposition do not trust the electoral register and believe that some sort of biometric test will help their cause.
Apparently the cost of the new test has been calculated and a company has been identified to carry it out. Let us hope that the reform will be implemented speedily and successfully and that a free and fair election will take place soon.