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Opposition party defeats ‘Bongo dynasty’ to win presidential election in Gabon

Albert Ondo Ossa

The opposition in Gabon has claimed victory following Saturday’s presidential election, but official results have not yet been released.

President Ali Bongo was running for a third term, which would also be an extension of rule by the Bongo dynasty which stretches back more than half a century.

At a press conference on Monday, the campaign manager of the main opposition candidate, Albert Ondo Ossa, announced without offering proof that the partial vote count was in their favour and he had a clear lead.

In Gabon, only the Gabonese Election Centre is authorised by law to publish results.

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“What is now expected of [President Bongo] is that he accepts the sovereign choice of the Gabonese people, that he respects it and that he organises, without bloodshed, the transfer of power to [Mr] Ossa,” said Mike Jocktane, Mr Ossa’s campaign manager.

Despite the opposition claims, the electoral body has remained silent over progress of the vote count and when the final results would be released.

The opposition has also denounced “fraud” in the elections.

Meanwhile, the internet outage and a curfew imposed by government are still in place.

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On Monday evening, residents in the capital, Libreville, raced against time to respect curfew hours. Some who could not make it in time were reportedly stranded in far away areas.

State media on Monday reported the arrest of gang members “whose objective is to sow chaos as soon as the results are announced”.

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