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Bongo victory approved by Gabon election commission: members

31 August 2016, 19:31

Libreville - Gabon's election commission (Cenap) has approved President Ali Bongo's re-election over challenger Jean Ping, several members said.

The official announcement is to be made by the interior minister in a nationwide television address to be broadcast shortly.

Bongo, 57, was running for a second term as head of the tiny oil-rich state previously ruled for 41 years by his father, Omar Ping, a 73-year-old career diplomat well-known on the international scene, worked with Bongo senior for many years.

Cenap members voted by secret ballot to approve a vote count from the Saturday vote that was disputed by delegates from the Ping camp.

"The opposition abstained," said one delegate.

At issue was the result in one of the country's nine provinces -- the Haut-Ogooue, the heartland of Bongo's Teke ethnic group.

A report claimed Bongo had won 95.5 percent of votes in the province, with turnout at 99.9 percent.

That gave Bongo a total 49.9 percent of votes nationwide, narrowly defeating Ping's 48.2 percent -- or a win with a tiny margin of just 5,594 votes.



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