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Gabon still waits: UN chief speaks to Ping and Bongo, security raised

Gabon still waits: UN chief speaks to Ping and Bongo, security raised

Gabon

Gabonese woke up on Wednesday, three days after voting on Saturday, without knowing who had won the presidential elections of August 27. High security presence has been deployed amid the tension in the country.

The Interior Minister who is expected to announce the official results announced a postponement on Tuesday night but had yet to release the results as at Wednesday morning.

Delegates from Bongo and Ping’s camps stayed up all night at the headquarters of the electoral commission, which centralizes the minutes of elections and was expected to deliver the results.

UN Chief speaks to Bongo and Ping

The Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) Ban Ki-moon spoke to the main contenders via phone on Tuesday tasking them to calm their supporters and to exercise restraint in the approach of the announcement of results.

Both the incumbent Ali Bongo and former African Union (AU) commission chairperson Jean Ping have both claimed victory in the polls. But the UN in a statement warned against “premature statements on the outcome of elections.”

Ban further urged the two candidates “to resolve any grievance after the announcement of results by existing legal means, following a transparent and democratic process.” He reaffirmed that his Special Representative for Central Africa Abdoulaye Bathily remained ready to “help defuse tensions.”

Security raised

In central Libreville, police and military presence remains important, despite the lifting of roadblocks that had been mounted around the presidential residence, the AFP reports.

Locals who wish to get to the town are seen making their journeys via foot as they fail to find taxis. Some shops are opened but business people remain cautious as the country continues to wait for the results.

The country descended into chaos following the victory of Ali Bongo in 2009, the hardest hit region being the economic capital Port-Gentil, where deaths and looting was reported as well as an attack on the Consulate of France.