The European Centre for Electoral Support is proud to announce the signature of the Project to Support National Electoral Observation in Gabon. The project, funded by the European Union (EU), aims to contribute to the integrity of the national electoral process by supporting credible, professional and transparent national electoral observation activities, democratic advocacy and political dialogue.

The project aims to enhance the link between national electoral observation activities and international and regional public law instruments in order to strengthen national electoral stakeholders’ ownership of the democratic reform process.

Moreover, following the recommendations formulated by the observation missions during the presidential elections of August 2016, the project aims to implement actions aimed at strengthening the advocacy capacities of the national actors involved in supporting the democratic consolidation.

Given the current situation of post-electoral political deadlock, and in order to ensure the overall relevance of the action, the project will support the implementation of advocacy initiatives for facilitating inclusive political dialogue, which is an essential element of a multiparty democracy as well as an important instrument for identifying consensual solutions to challenging situations.

Indeed, supporting political dialogue initiatives is one of ECES’ key activities. These activities, which can take different forms and can be implemented on/from a local and communal level up to a national, regional and international levels, have the potential to strengthen and consolidate a wide range of stakeholders’ commitments, and respect for common and shared democratic values.

Advocacy initiatives in favour of inclusive political dialogue are particularly relevant in contexts characterised by fragile institutional frameworks and the risk of instability and electoral violence, which is notably the case of Gabon. These actions aim to raise the awareness of national electoral and political actors with regards to :

• the importance of an inclusive national dialogue in the current situation of political impasse for identifying shared solution to contribute to the credibility of future elections;
 • the importance of securing a framework/space for dialogue for all national actors involved in the political and electoral process, in order to enhance the democratic culture based on dialogue and mutual trust.