Gabon President Re-elected

IAS Prelims 2023

Gabon’s incumbent President Ali Bongo has won a closely fought presidential election.

Bongo had obtained 49.80 percent of vote, beating rival candidate Jean Ping who received 48.23 percent.

Bongo won by only 5,594 votes, of a total 627,805 registered voters.

Election commission members belonging to the opposition immediately denounced the result.

Bongo, 57, has now won a second term as head of the tiny oil-rich state, previously ruled for 41 years by his father, Omar.

In 2009, Bongo was declared winner of the presidential election after his father’s death. The result was disputed and in the ensuing clashes several people were killed, buildings looted and the French consulate in the economic capital Port-Gentil was torched.

Prior to becoming Bongo’s bitter rival, Ping, a 73-year-old career diplomat well known on the international scene, worked with Bongo senior for many years.

Gabon’s economic troubles, caused by falling oil output and prices, have led to budget cuts in one of Africa’s richest nations and fuelled opposition charges that its 1.8 million people have struggled under Bongo’s leadership.