After a contentious election marathon, the election of Ali Bongo as president of the Republic of Gabon was confirmed Monday night by the country’s Constitutional Court. Ali Bongo, presidential candidate for the ruling Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG) has, thus, formally succeeded his father, Omar Bongo Ondimba, who passed away in Spain last June.
According the results of a vote recount, demanded by members of the opposition, Ali Bongo received 41, 79% of the total votes during the August 30 presidential elections, ahead of his rival, Pierre Mamboundou, who garnered 25, 64% of the votes. The former Gabonese Interior Minister, Andre Mba Obame, who came 2nd according to the initial results, fell one place. He obtained obtained 25, 33% of the votes, according to the Constitutional Court.
The court, on the other hand, rejected 10 of the 11 cases that were filed by the unsuccessful presidential candidates. The court said the cases lacked evidence and that their demands were mostly distorted facts. Besides the cancellation of votes from Gabonese residing in Lebanon and Iran, the general pattern of the electoral process that heaved the PDG candidate to victory was left almost intact.
According to sources close to the ruling party, Ali Bongo will be sworn in before the end of the week. This will be followed by a new government strategy, to be put in place by the Gabonese president elect.
Opposition remains hostile
Meanwhile, Andre Mba Obame yesterday announced his intention to go on a hunger strike to denounce the “electoral coup” and the dictatorship exercised by the authorities in Libreville. Insisting that “the masquerade continues,” Mr. Mba Obama stated that “President Bongo left us a country with credible institutions, but selfishness, meanness (…), unbridled thirst for power of some… have ruined this achievement in only a few months.”
According to an official from the Union of Gabonese People (UPG), ex-presidential candidate Mamboundou’s party, Ali Bongo is finding it particularly difficult to find the consensus needed to rule the country because “nobody is ready to negotiate with him.”
The Secretary General of the ruling PDG party, Faustin Boukoubi, on his part, welcomed the outcome of disputed polls, which confirmed the election of their standard-bearer, adding that the reaction from the opposition is “purely emotional” and that they will soon come to their rightful senses.
The Gabonese population, for the time being, has remained very quiet since the confirmation of these results.