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Procedure : 2017/2830(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0520/2017

Texts tabled :

B8-0520/2017

Debates :

PV 14/09/2017 - 5.2
CRE 14/09/2017 - 5.2

Votes :

PV 14/09/2017 - 8.3

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2017)0349

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 269kWORD 51k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0512/2017
12.9.2017
PE611.440v01-00
 
B8-0520/2017

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law

pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure


on Gabon : repression of the opposition (2017/2830(RSP))


Yannick Jadot, Michèle Rivasi, Maria Heubuch, Heidi Hautala, Judith Sargentini, Eva Joly, Florent Marcellesi, Bodil Valero, Barbara Lochbihler, Bart Staes, Ernest Urtasun, Igor Šoltes, Davor Škrlec, Bronis Ropė, Jordi Solé on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.

European Parliament resolution on Gabon : repression of the opposition (2017/2830(RSP))  
B8‑0520/2017

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Gabon,

–  having regard to its resolution of 31 January 2017 on the rule of law crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Gabon,

–  having regard to the declaration of 28 March 2017 from the EEAS spokesperson on the national dialogue in Gabon,

–  having regard to the statement attributable to the Spokesperson of the UN Secretary-General of 31 August 2016 following the announcement of the provisional electoral results in the Gabonese Republic,

–  having regard to the joint statements by the spokespersons for High Representative / Vice-President Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica on Gabon, issued on 11 and 17 September 2016, and following the announcement by the Gabonese Constitutional Court of the final results of the presidential election, issued on 24 September 2016,

–  having regard to the press release issued by the African Union on 1 September 2016 condemning the violence and calling for the peaceful resolution of the post-electoral conflict in Gabon,

–  having regard to the ACP statement of 2 September 2016 on the situation in Gabon,

–  having regard to the final report of 12 December 2016 from the EU Electoral Observation Mission to Gabon on the outcome of the elections,

–  having regard to the electoral mission by African jurists mandated by the African Union,

–  having regard to the resolution of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly of 18 May 2011 on challenges for the future of democracy and respecting constitutional order in ACP and EU countries,

–   having regard to the Gabonese Constitution,

–  having regard to the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, signed on 23 June 2000 and revised on 25 June 2005 and 22 June 2010,

–  having regard to the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance,

–  having regard to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights of June 1981,

–  having regard to Rule 135 of its Rules of Procedure,

 

 

A. Whereas Gabon has faced a major crisis in the aftermath of Presidential elections organised in August 2016,

B. Whereas President Bongo was declared the winner, despite strong doubts about results in Bongo’s home region Haut-Ogooue, which tilted the official result after challenger Ping had won in all other regions,

C. Whereas an EU election observation mission highlighted the biased nature of the elections in favour of the incumbent president and complained about clear abnormalities and the weakness of the electoral system;

D. Whereas all calls for recounting the votes got dismissed,

E. Whereas the proclamation of preliminary results triggered demonstrations, a breakout of violence lasting several days, the use of force by Gabonese security forces against peaceful demonstrators, resulting in casualties, and numerous arrests,

F. Whereas the International Criminal Court has conducted a preliminary investigation on the violence surrounding the elections,

G. Whereas according to human rights organisations the post-electoral crisis has led to a significant worsening of the human rights situation in Gabon, characterised by an increase in violence among the civilian population, targeted arrests by the authorities and attacks to freedom of the press,  

H. Whereas a “national dialogue” was organised by the Gabonese government in March 2017; whereas the opposition boycotted the dialogue,

I. Whereas in August 2017, opposition leader Jean Ping has called the Gabonese people to rise up against their government,

J. Whereas this call has triggered several demonstrations throughout the country,

K. Whereas 9 people got arrested in the margins of these demonstrations,

L. Whereas since then, Gabonese authorities forbid to Jean Ping and other opposition leaders to leave the country,

M. Whereas security forces prevented a meeting of the opposition coalition at the Collège Ntchoréré in Libreville by blocking the entrance of the building and dispersing a meeting by using tear gas; whereas several opposition members got arrested,

N. Whereas the French judiciary has just concluded an investigation of ill-gotten gains from Gabon invested in France and has identified and seized goods worth between 50-60 million € following complaints introduced by the French branch of Transparency International and a Gabonese national; whereas the enquiry revealed that a bank account used to acquire goods in France for the Bongo family also received a payment of 1.3 bio € by the multinational Shell.

 

 

 

1. Reexpresses its concern about the political situation in Gabon following last year’s election and the increased tensions lately,

2. Urges the Gabonese authorities to stop harrassing the opposition and to allow peaceful demonstrations and meetings and calls for the release of all political prisoners,

3. Calls on opposition forces to exert restraint and to conduct their demonstrations peacefully,

4. Expresses serious reservations as to the prohibition put in place by the Gabonese Ministry of Interior to leave the country for senior opposition figures; recalls that the Gabonese law foresees this exceptional measure only for persons under criminal investigation; considers this measure therefore to be a of an arbitrary nature;

5. Recalls and expresses its full support to the conclusions of the European Electoral Observation mission, which expressed serious doubts about the fair nature of the presidential elections held in 2016,

6. Regrets that the publication of results polling station by polling station, which would have ensured full transparency on the election results, was not allowed by Gabonese authorities,

7. Considers the organisation of flawed elections and impediments to the freedom of assembly and of speech to constitute violations of the fundamental values of the Cotonou agreement,

8. Recalls the commitments made by Gabon under the Cotonou Agreement to respect democracy, the rule of law and human rights principles, which include freedom of expression and freedom of the media, good governance, and transparency in political offices; urges the Gabonese government to uphold these provisions in accordance with Articles 11B, 96 and 97 of the Cotonou Agreement;

9. Reiterates its call for an independent investigation into the election-related violence and the allegations of serious violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and underlines the need to make sure that all those found responsible are brought to justice;

10. Urges the Government of Gabon to conduct comprehensive and rapid reform of the electoral procedure to improve it and make it fully transparent and credible; stresses the importance that the Gabon authorities demonstrate willingness to cooperate constructively with the international partners to ensure that next elections take place in a free and transparent environment;

11. Calls on the Gabonese authorities to ratify the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance at the earliest opportunity;

12. Urges the Council to initiate a consultation process under Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement as soon as there is a lack of progress in the intensified political dialogue; calls on the Council, if no agreement can be reached within the consultation process, to consider imposing targeted sanctions on those responsible for the post-electoral violence and human rights abuses, and for undermining the democratic process in the country;

13. Welcomes the investigation conducted in France on the ill-gotten goods from Gabon and expresses its hope that all those involved in illegal activities will be brought to justice; calls for utmost transparency on the 1.3 bio € payment made by Shell on a French bank account linked to the Bongo family,

14. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the European External Action Service, the African Union, the ACP-EU Council of Ministers, the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the International Organisation of La Francophonie, the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the President, Prime Minister and Parliament of Gabon.

 

Last updated: 12 September 2017Legal notice