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Gabon constitutional court upholds Ali Bongo's disputed re-election

Gabon constitutional court upholds Ali Bongo's disputed re-election

Gabon

The Constitutional Court of Gabon has confirmed the reelection of President Ali Bongo as the head of the country.

The court met on Friday to decide who will be the country’s next president, ending weeks of uncertainty after a disputed election sparked a political crisis and violent protests.

Incumbent President Ali Bongo won the vote by a margin of less than 6,000 votes while his main challenger, Jean Ping, had complained of fraud.

One major disputed area was Bongo’s stronghold, Haut Ogoouéans, where he claimed there was a 99% voter turnout. The constitutional court later ordered a vote recount and it emerged that Bongo had won 83.2% to Ping’s 4.6%. It also cancelled the results from 21 polling stations in Libreville.

Jean Ping, a career diplomat and former chairman of the African Union Commission, filed a legal challenge and demanded a recount.

The announcement of the result had earlier triggered-off electoral disputes between the two candidates. At least seven people died and more than 1,000 were arrested in violent protests following the announcement. People have been stocking their homes with extra groceries in anticipation of further trouble.

Bongo has now called on opposition for a political dialogue in a move to unite the country

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