Here is a potential answer to this question:
Thanks to the last minute Haut Ogooué results, Mr. Bongo was able to win by a margin of 5,594 votes, securing 49.8% of the vote to Mr. Jean Ping’s 48.2%. Opposition representatives refused to sign papers validating the results.
According to the electoral commission, 99.9% of Haut Ogooué’s population casted their votes at the ballot boxes, which is a slight anomaly to the rest of the country where the average turnout was 59%.
A career diplomat, Ping, who previously served as the chairman of the African Union Commission, disputes the result. “To use one province to impose a coup in the country could have serious consequences for national unity,” Ping said.
Ping, of course, is the same guy who while at the AU Commission (2008-2012) turned a blind eye to instances of election fraud in several African states. It will be interesting to see where he turns to for help.
Meanwhile protesters burned down the Gabonese Parliament yesterday. Authorities then blocked the internet early Thursday.
The Bongo family has ruled Gabon since 1967. Ali Bongo became president in 2009 following the death of his father Omar Bongo who was president for a staggering 42 years.
Ken, it’s a “slight anomoly”; we must not be unduly skeptical. It’s perhaps a bit like getting 4,000 votes over the 50% threshold when over 2,000 polling stations are completely missing results as of a year later. And Ping has bad democratic hygene from his past behavior. Likewise, it is unfair to blame Bongo for his father’s kleptocracy. If the voters were not so angry, perhaps the International Community could sponsor some type of commission of inquiry, but given the risk of further unrest surely we should all agree that the substative tie goes to the incumbent. Unless the French feel Bongo needs to go.
What minerals are in Gabon?