Bongo Sworn In As Gabon’s President For Second Term

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Ali Bongo, 57, has been sworn in as Gabon’s president for a second seven-year term.

This comes three days after his election victory was controversially validated by the Constitutional Court following allegations of fraud.

Bongo’s victory in the August 27 vote was confirmed on Saturday by the country’s top court, which dismissed opposition claims of voter fraud.

His opponent Jean Ping, 73, who came in second in the vote, rejected the court’s ruling as a miscarriage of justice and declared himself “president-elect”.

Bongo won the elections by a margin less than 6,000 votes.

Ping had asked for a recount in Haut-Ogooue province, where 95 percent of voters in the Bongo family stronghold were reported to have cast their ballots for the president on a turnout of more than 99 percent.

The Constitutional Court meanwhile upheld Bongo’s victory and put the winning margin higher at around 11,000 votes.

Bongo’s second mandate, which takes his family’s reign over the oil-rich country into a fifth decade, has received a cool reception from the African Union and the United Nations, while the European Union voiced regret that the count had not been transparent.

The event was attended by a handful of African leaders including the presidents of Mali, Niger, Togo and Sao Tome, as well as the prime ministers of Chad, Senegal, the Central African Republic and Morocco.

SEE ALSO: Gabon Police Makes 1000 Arrests Following Post-Election Violence

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