Ahead of the official declaration of results in closely contested presidential elections in Gabon, with both leading candidates claiming victory, France has issued a caution to citizens living in Gabon to be security conscious.
The Embassy of France recommended that French nationals in Gabon should “avoid traveling unless very necessary and to keep abreast of the situation.” Gabon is currently in a tense mood two days after voting and with about 24 hours to the official declaration of polls.
Incumbent and main opponent declare victory
The first to declare himself victor was Jean Ping, the 73-year-old former African Union (AU) chairperson. Ping said in his first interview after Saturday’s polls that he expected Bongo to call and congratulate him for his victory.
“I’m the one. I expect that the outgoing president will call me to congratulate me,” he told supporters before adding a tweet later in the day, “This Sunday starts with rains of blessing in Libreville which is like announcing a new era in Gabon,” he Tweeted in French.
Meanwhile, incumbent Ali Bongo, who came to power in 2009 after the death of his father Omar Bongo is confident that the rule of the Bongo family is set to continue with a victory in the polls.
“We are confidently waiting and I want to say big thank you to every one be confident great things await us,” Ali Bongo told a jubilant crowd.
Bongo’s camp also denounced the ‘illegal’ victory declaration by Ping stating that they will stick to the law and allow the independent electoral commission (CENAP) to do its mandated duty of declaring official results.
“Self-proclaimed Mr. Ping is serious and dangerous”, a statement from Ali Bongo’s camp condemned.
“We are legalistic and are republicans so we confidently expect the CENAP to announce the results of the election,” Ali Bongo told supporters in his first speech since taking the vote.
The Interior Minister Pacome Moubelet-Boubeya confirmed that the certified true results of the August 27 polls will be officially announced by the electoral commission “this Tuesday, August 30 around 17:00” (1600 GMT).