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Gabon Leaders Both Claiming Victory in Presidential Election

  • VOA News

A Gabonese voter checks the registry at a polling station in the Rio district during the presidential election on Aug. 27, 2016, in Libreville.

A Gabonese voter checks the registry at a polling station in the Rio district during the presidential election on Aug. 27, 2016, in Libreville.

Supporters of Gabon President Ali Bongo and his chief rival, Jean Ping, are both claiming victory - and alleging fraud - in the central African nation's presidential election.

The official results in the oil rich nation's Saturday election won't be known until Tuesday. But the 73-year-old Ping claimed Sunday that "the general trends indicate we are the winner." But a spokesman for Bongo said the president is headed to a second term, while Bongo said he is "calmly" waiting for the results.

Gabon does not have a run-off system, so the candidate with the most votes in the 10-candidate field will win the election. A Ping victory would end a half-century of Bongo family rule. Ali Bongo succeeded his father Omar Bongo who died in 2009 after 41 years in office.

Both sides accuse the other of fraud in the voting.

President Bongo's spokesman said "massive fraud" had been observed, particularly at polling stations in opposition territory.

Ping said, "You have foiled the congenital fraud of this regime, which we are finally going to see off."

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