Gabon election: Justice minister, Moundounga, resigns over disputed result

  • Mr. Bongo took office in 2009
  • Bongo’s rival Jean Ping, a veteran diplomat, had served as chair of the African Union
  • Mr. Ping had been a close ally of Omar Bongo and had been his foreign minister

Gabonese Justice Minister Seraphim Moundounga has resigned in protest over the disputed presidential election, becoming the first senior government minister to resign over the election result, BBC reports.

Mr. Bongo took office in 2009

Mr. Bongo was declared the winner by a narrow margin last Wednesday, but the opposition says the poll was rigged in favour of Mr. Bongo, who succeeded his father Omar Bongo who came to power in 1967 and was Africa’s longest serving leader.

It’s reported that Mr. Seraphim Moundounga  warned the  President Ali Bongo, that he could cancel the results of the election if they did not “tally with reality”.

Bongo’s rival Jean Ping has called for a general strike and alleged that dozens of his supporters have been killed.

Gabonese post-election violence

Credit: BBC
Credit: BBC

There are contradictory figures on the number of post-election victims.

Gabonese authorities put the number of death at three while “105 have been injured following violent clashes and mass arrests that have taken place since the election result was announced.”

Other reports put the death toll at least six.

There have been more than 800 arrests and France says several people with dual French-Gabonese citizenship remain unaccounted for.

The official election result gave Mr Bongo a second seven-year term with 49.8% of the vote to Mr Ping’s 48.2% – a margin of 5,594 votes.

Mr. Ping won in six out of nine provinces but disputes the result in Mr. Bongo’s home province of Haut-Ogooue, where turnout was 99.93% and 95% of votes were for the president.

Turnout in the other provinces was between 45% and 71%, according to Gabon’s interior ministry .

The former African Union diplomat has called for a recount, which has so far been resisted by the government.

According to BBC, Gabon has one of the highest per-capita incomes in Africa, but few of its 1.6 million people feel the benefit.

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