Thursday, 21 September, 2017

Gabon opposition says HQ attacked by presidential guard

Gabon's incumbent president Ali Bongo Ondimba  AFP Gabon opposition says HQ attacked by presidential guard
Melinda Barton | 01 September, 2016, 13:38

Gabon President Ali Bongo won re-election in a hotly contested weekend election with 49.80 percent of ballots cast, according to final results announced by Interior Minister Pacome Moubelet Boubeya on Wednesday.

On Tuesday night, a government spokesman issued a statement announcing it had "tangible and irrefutable evidence" that Ping had collaborated with an adviser to Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara in a plot to convince members of the electoral commission to resign.

Gabon's most high-profile opposition candidate has warned of possible tampering with the outcome of Saturday's presidential election, potentially increasing tensions as this central African nation awaits an official tally.

Bongo won the disputed 2009 election with 41.7 percent of the vote, sparking violent demonstrations in which several people were killed and opposition protesters set the French consulate on fire.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern about the issuance of premature results and called on Ping and Bongo to urge their supporters to show restraint, according to a U.N. statement, which said Ban had spoken to both men.

Were Ping to succeed, it would be the end of nearly 50 years of rule by the Bongo family.

The announcement of the result was repeatedly delayed, and opposition supporters on Wednesday said they suspected foul play over what they claimed were voting irregularities in at least one of the country's nine provinces.

On Tuesday afternoon anti-riot police began to take up positions around Libreville and later established checkpoints in various parts of the capital, blocking access to the presidential palace.

The clashes erupted as soon as Bongo was declared the victor of Saturday's presidential poll, with opposition supporters chanting, "Ali must go!"

The United States is deeply concerned regarding unfolding events in Gabon.

"We think it is necessary to publish the results of all the polling stations".

Political analysts warned that Bongo can decide to hold onto power even if he loses by influencing the electoral body that is not independent and the constitutional court that hears election disputes has judges whose appointment was influenced by the president.

There was also trouble Wednesday in the economic capital Port Gentil, which saw the worst of the violence that followed Bongo's 2009 election victory.

Tight security, food stockpiling as Gabon braces for Bongo dynasty fate was posted in World of TheNews International - https://www.thenews.com.pk on August 31, 2016 and was last updated on August 31, 2016. He benefited from being the incumbent in a country with a patronage system lubricated by oil largesse. The statement was also signed by the representatives of the European Union delegation, the UN Secretary General for Central Africa and the International Organization of La Francophonie.