Gabon: Polls and violent aftermath reveal a flawed electoral system | Mail & Guardian Africa

The presidential elections in Gabon have been keeping those following the outcome of the race on the edge of their seats for several days. The vote took place on Saturday 26 August, but results were only announced late on Wednesday afternoon. According to the final tally announced by the minister of the interior, the incumbent Ali Bongo won by 49.8%, while his rival, Jean Ping, got 48.23%. Just over 628 000 people took part in the vote in the Central African country of 1.8 million inhabitants. The opposition strongly disputes this outcome and says votes were manipulated – especially in Bongo’s stronghold of Haut-Ogooué, where the incumbent got over 90% of the votes. Following the announcement of the results, opposition supporters reportedly torched a part of the Parliament building in Libreville – an ominous sign of possible escalating post-election violence. Ping (73), a former foreign minister who headed the African Union Commission between 2008 and 2012, was confident earlier in the race. He told the media on Sunday, 29 August – a day after the vote and before any results were released – that he had won the elections and that his predecessor should accept it. He repeated this statement on Tuesday saying that his opponent, Bongo (57) should prepare to hand over power.

Full Article: Gabon polls and violent aftermath reveal a flawed electoral system | MG Africa.

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