Gabon: Opposition candidate claims ‘victory’, renews call for Ali Bongo to concede defeat

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President Ali Bongo
President Ali Bongo

The camp of Albert Ondo Ossa, President Ali Bongo Ondimba’s main rival in Saturday’s election in Gabon, whose official results are still awaited, again claimed on Monday to have won and called on the Head of State to “Organize the transfer of power”.

Mr. Ondo Ossa, behind whom the main opposition parties have lined up, had already denounced “fraud” by the Bongo camp on Saturday, two hours before the polls closed, and asked to be “declared the winner”.

“We call on our compatriots who gravitate around this power that is more devoid of legitimacy than ever, particularly those around Mr. Ali Bongo Ondimba” to “bow humbly before the will of the Gabonese people”, declared Mike Jocktane, the director of campaign of Mr. Ondo Ossa, during a press conference in Libreville.

“What is now expected of Mr. Ali Bongo Ondimba, (c’) is that he accepts the sovereign choice of the Gabonese people, that he respects it and that he organizes, without bloodshed, the transfer of power to favor of Professor Albert Ondo Ossa”, hammered Mr. Jocktane.

He invoked, in support of this request, a “trend”, which he quantified, based on “the consolidation of more than 50% of the votes” cast, without supporting document. Gabonese law prohibits any media from reproducing figures put forward by Mr. Jocktane or anyone else, pending the official results that only the Gabonese Elections Center (CGE) is empowered by law to proclaim.

Questioned several times by AFP on Sunday and Monday, the CGE refused to give any indications on the progress of the counting and on the date and time scheduled for the proclamation of the official results.

At the time scheduled for the closing of the polling stations on Saturday, and while the CGE had postponed it by several hours for many of them having opened very late, the government suspended internet access in the whole country and declared a curfew for the following day, until further notice. This by invoking the risk of violence after the declarations of Mr. Ondo Ossa who demanded to be proclaimed the winner.

Internet access was still not restored on Monday evening and the army and the police had set up roadblocks throughout the capital in the evening to enforce the curfew for the second consecutive night.

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