Tags: AF | Gabon | Election

Gabon Provisional Results Show President Wins Re-election

Wednesday, 31 August 2016 11:53 AM

LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AP) — Gabon's president has narrowly won re-election, election officials said Wednesday, keeping alive a family dynasty in this oil-rich Central African country that reaches back to the 1960s.

President Ali Bongo Ondimba beat the leading opposition candidate, Jean Ping, by just 1.57 percentage points, setting the stage for an almost certain opposition challenge. Both candidates had predicted a victory, and Ping's supporters already have claimed fraud.

Security forces have already fanned out across the capital. Bongo's win in 2009 sparked looting and clashes between protesters and security forces. He came to power that year after the death of his father, longtime ruler Omar Bongo.

Wednesday's election results came a day later than expected, prompting fears that the process had been tainted.

Bongo won with 49.8 percent of the vote, trailed by Ping with 48.23 percent. There is no second round of voting, as Gabon does not have a runoff election system.

The constitutional court now must finalize the electoral commission's provisional results.

European Union observers have criticized a "lack of transparency" on the part of institutions organizing the vote. The U.S. Embassy, meanwhile, has said Gabon's voters were not "well-served by the many systemic flaws and irregularities that we witnessed," including the late opening of polling stations and "last-minute changes to voting procedures."

Gabon's interior ministry has repeatedly accused Ping, the son of a Chinese immigrant, of trying to destabilize the country by pre-empting official results.

On Tuesday night, a government spokesman said there was evidence Ping had collaborated with an adviser to Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara in a plot to convince members of the electoral commission to resign. The accused adviser, Mamadi Diane, denied the allegations to Jeune Afrique magazine, but Ouattara's office announced that Diane had been removed from his post.

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Gabon's president has narrowly won re-election, election officials said Wednesday, keeping alive a family dynasty in this oil-rich Central African country that reaches back to the 1960s.President Ali Bongo Ondimba beat the leading opposition candidate, Jean Ping, by just...
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2016-53-31
Wednesday, 31 August 2016 11:53 AM
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