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Ali Bongo Victory Approved By Gabon Election Commission: Members

Gabon’s election commission (Cenap) has approved President Ali Bongo’s re-election over challenger Jean Ping, several members said.

The official announcement is to be made by the interior minister in a nationwide television address to be broadcast shortly.

Bongo, 57, was running for a second term as head of the tiny oil-rich state previously ruled for 41 years by his father, Omar Ping, a 73-year-old career diplomat well-known on the international scene, worked with Bongo senior for many years.

Cenap members voted by secret ballot to approve a vote count from the Saturday vote that was disputed by delegates from the Ping camp.

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“The opposition abstained,” said one delegate.

At issue was the result in one of the country’s nine provinces — the Haut-Ogooue, the heartland of Bongo’s Teke ethnic group.

A report claimed Bongo had won 95.5 percent of votes in the province, with turnout at 99.9 percent.

That gave Bongo a total 49.9 percent of votes nationwide, narrowly defeating Ping’s 48.2 percent — or a win with a tiny margin of just 5,594 votes.

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