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Vol 58 No 2

Published 20th January 2017


Vote row threatens economy

Fallout from the disputed presidential election is affecting an already deteriorating economic outlook

Two crises will dominate Gabon's political landscape in 2017: President Ali Ben Bongo Ondimba's legitimacy as President and the economy. Bongo is badly tarnished both at home and abroad by August's disputed presidential election. Election observers cited 'anomalies' when his home province, Haut-Ogooué, reported a 99.93% turnout with 95% of the vote in his favour. That contrasted with a nationwide turnout of 59%. A mid-December report by election observers from the European Union – which normally pulls its punches – could not avoid implying that the election had been stolen. Bongo won by just 6,000 votes, sparking two days of rioting and other protests.

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