Jan 19, 2009, 5:46 AM
We are saddened by the death of the Gabonese leader Omar Bongo at the age of 73. He carried on with his presidential duties until May when he left for overseas treatment. He passed away in
The late Omar Bongo became the president of the oil-rich
With his death, the senate leader should step in and take charge for 45 days. During this transition period, he is mandated to organize elections that will usher in a new president to steer the affairs of state. Expectedly, the senate president Rose Francine Rogombe is a crony of the late president. This has given rise to doubts about the authenticity of the elections, especially as the opposition is claiming that Ali-Ben Bongo has been groomed to succeed his father. In his father's administration, Ali-Ben has served as the head of the powerful ministry of defence. So the next 45 days are crucial for the political stability of
It is important to observe that
The Gabonese people should ensure that they elect a leader who will work hard to distribute equitably their oil wealth for the common good. Other parts of the world that are rich in oil use their prodigious wealth for the benefit of the people. It is only in
Under a well-focused leader operating within the framework of an open society, the enormous wealth of
We sympathize with the Gabonese people at this moment of their national grief, but they should sooner shake off their grief and work for democracy and sustainable development in line with the tenets of an open society.
"I sought the image of democracy, inorder to learn what we have to fear and to hope from its progress"
Alexix de Tocqueville