Gabon opposition candidate claims victory in presidential vote

Gabon opposition candidate claims victory in presidential vote

Jean Ping, Gabon’s main opposition presidential candidate, says he has won the elections despite similar claims by the rival camp led by incumbent Omar Bongo.

“I have been elected. I am waiting for the outgoing president to call to congratulate me,” Ping said Sunday two days before the release of the official results of the elections.

“As I speak, the trends show we have won,” said Ping while addressing journalists and his supporters in the capital, Libreville.

“Jean Ping president,” hundreds of his supporters chanted, brandishing images of the 73-year-old politician.

Ping again repeated his accusations of fraud and cheating against Bongo, saying, however, that conspiracies by the rival camp were foiled. He said Bongo’s team were trying to create instability in Gabon by raising baseless accusations against their rival camp.

“We will finally see off the regime,” said Ping, who once served as the chair of the powerful African Union Commission.

The comments came as Bongo and his supporters also claimed victory after polls were closed Saturday.

“Bongo will win… we are already on our way to a second mandate,” said the president’s spokesman.

Alain-Claude Bilie-By-Nze also accused Ping and his supporters of committing fraud in some polling stations. He would not elaborate but said opposition representatives were first to arrive in those stations.

The 57-year-old Bongo has been in power since disputed elections in 2009. The Central African country was ruled by Bongo’s father, Omar, for more than four decades before that .

Gabon’s interior minister on Sunday rejected the predictions by rival camps as invalid, saying official results would be released around 5.00 pm (1600 GMT) on Tuesday. Pacome Moubelet said it was “illegal to release results ahead of the official announcement by the competent authorities.”

Source: Press TV