Gabon's constitutional court confirms Ali Bongo's election victory

15:55, October 13, 2009      

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Gabon's constitutional court confirmed on Monday evening that Ali Bongo Ondimba was the victor in the presidential election held on Aug. 30.

The ruling lifted the final barrier for the 50-year-old politician to ascend to the West African country's top post after his father Omar Bongo Ondimba died on June 8.

The verdict was announced by the constitutional court president,Marie Madeleine Mborantsuo, less than a month after the official end to complaints about the published election outcome filed by the opponents.

According to the new count carried out by the court, Ali Bongo improved his score from the original 41.73 percent to 41.79 percent.

Opposition leader Pierre Mamboundou of the Union of Gabon's People (UPG) came in second with 25.64 percent, instead of 25.22 percent published in the first count. He outclassed the former interior minister, Andre Mba Obame, who retrograded from the second position to the third with 25.33 percent, against the previous 25.88 percent.

The constitutional court rejected 10 appeals out of the 11, with the results of the Beirut polling station in Lebanon annulleddue to the closure of Gabon's diplomatic mission for two years.

Faustine Boukoubi, the secretary general of the ruling Democratic Party of Gabon (PDG), hailed the court decision, sayinghe "congratulated the victory of his party's candidate."

The court has yet to fix the date of inauguration of the new president. Ali Bongo would become the third elected president of Gabon.

The victory of Ali Bongo has been contested by his main challengers. Right after the publication of the provisional results, a wave of violence erupted in the Gabonese capital Libreville and the second largest city Port-Gentil, where protesters torched the French consulate as they believed Ali Bongohad the backing of France. Three people died in the riots.

Losing contenders took the issue to the court in mid-September,with former prime minister Jean Eyeghe Ndong signing an appeal on behalf of a coalition of 15 candidates beaten in the polls. On Monday, Obame began a hunger strike in protest against what he called the imposition of dictatorship in the country.

Source: Xinhua
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