A presidential election is on the horizon again – it is scheduled for August 2023 – but we have seen it coming for months already. In the staffs, the political staff probe the oracles on the climate who will prevail next year, work to position themselves to influence the community – or ethnic – vote, assess the proportion of the electorate ready to mobilize for or against their side, without forgetting to gauge the share of the protest vote that would be harmful to the outgoing president, Ali Bongo Ondimba (ABO), if he sought his own succession.
The one-round voting system had the advantage of achieving a clear majority while avoiding haggling. The 2018 constitutional revision having sanctioned the return to the two-round ballot, the risk is very high for the candidate who comes first in the first round to come up against a coalition of opponents leagued against him in the second round. Also, to ward off this unenviable fate which forces him to negotiate in a delicate position, the outgoing president has an interest in obtaining an absolute majority in the first round.