On this Saturday, August 26, 2023, the President of Gabon Republic, Ali Bongo Ondimba, and his main rival, Albert Ondo Ossa, are leading a race of 14 candidates vying for the position of head of state. The incumbent president assumed office in 2009, succeeding his father, Omar.

Gabonese voters headed to the polls this Saturday for presidential, legislative, and local elections. During these elections, President Ali Bongo Ondimba, hailing from a family that has governed Gabon for over half a century, is aiming for a third term.

However, a recently united opposition hopes to thwart Bongo’s attempt at securing a third term and bring an end to his family’s 55-year reign.

Polling stations opened early on Saturday morning, with six major opposition parties backing primary rival Albert Ondo Ossa in an effort to narrow the race and challenge Bongo’s rule.

Approximately 850,000 registered voters in this small Central African country, rich in oil and sparsely populated with just 2.3 million inhabitants, are called upon to participate in the vote this Saturday. The voting is set to close at 6:00 PM (1700 GMT).

At 64 years old, Ali Bongo assumed office in 2009, succeeding his father Omar, who had been in power for over 40 years before his passing.