Gabon has gone through the most highly contested election in its history. The results are still being disputed. They are too close to call. The difference between the two candidates is just one percent of the votes.
This is why all African countries should embrace the absolute majority principle in elections. This principle holds that if no single candidate has more than 50 percent of the votes a second round should be held and the two people with the highest number of votes will contest in the second round.
Jean Ping has ministerial posts in Gabon and has been the President of the African Union Commission before handing over to Madam Nkozana Dlamini Zuma. He is now gathering experience on what it is like to seek the mandate of the people from the rank of the opposition.
Tension is now building up and violence has erupted in Gabon and it is still not clear how the dispute is going to come to an end. The right thing to do is to call a national conference and figure out how to form a coalition government that would preside over constitutional reforms that would give rise to a term limit and a second round of voting. The AU and the International Community should attribute the current crisis to constitutional and institutional defects. It is these defects which need to be addressed in order to avoid such crises in Gabon in particular in a dwindling number of African countries in general.