Gabonese main opposition candidate Jean Ping has declared himself winner of the 2016 presidential election ahead of the official declaration expected to be made by the electoral commission on Tuesday.
The former chairman of the African Union Commission addressed the media and his supporters on Sunday in Libreville saying that he has won Saturday’s polls despite the caution issued by the country’s interior ministry on Saturday night against declarations.
“I am the one. I expect the outgoing president to call me to congratulate me,” he said in his first public speech after the polls.
“As I speak to you, the trends indicate we are the winner of this important presidential election. You have thwarted the plans of fraud that we have finally kicked out,” he told a crowd of supporters gathered at his campaign headquarters in the capital Libreville.
I am the one. I expect the outgoing president to call me to congratulate me.
The Minister of Interior, Pachomius Moubelet, announced before Jean Ping’s declaration that the results will be declared by the Autonomous and Permanent National Electoral Commission (CENAP) on Tuesday, August 30 at 1600 GMT.
“It is illegal to proclaim results as the mandate only rests with the CENAP so allow them to do their work,” the minister warned.
73-year-old Jean Ping hinted early Sunday morning via social media of a possible victory. “This Sunday starts with rains of blessing in Libreville which is like announcing a new era in Gabon,” he Tweeted in French.
Ce dimanche commence par une pluie de bienfaisance à Libreville comme pour annoncer une nouvelle ère au #Gabon.— Jean Ping (@pingjean) August 28, 2016
The camp of the incumbent president Ali Bongo Ondimba has also declared victory, AFP reports.