Gabon – Jean Ping Restates Victory Claims
Opposition candidate and former Chair of the African Union Commission Jean Ping continues to dispute the outcome of the 2016 elections that were questioned by observers at the time and saw President Ali Bongo Ondimba returned to office with a margin of fewer than 6,000 votes.
Ping has now restated his claims following the admission of President Bongo to hospital in Saudi Arabia almost two weeks ago. While the government claims the President is being treated for severe fatigue with orders for him to rest, rumours regarding his condition are circulating. Bongo took office in 2009 following the death of his father Omar Bongo, who ruled Gabon for over 40 years.
Ping has refused to recognise the 2016 election outcome. His request for a recount at the time was rejected by the country’s constitutional court.
This weekend Ping urged Gabonese to “transcend their divisions and place the nation above our individual ethnic or clan interests”.
Last month Ping boycotted parliamentary elections that saw the ruling party win 98 of the 143 seats in the National Assembly. The opposition has repeatedly alleged vote buying and fraud.