News

Gabon Imposes Curfew After Violence Over Election Win by Son of Late President

Gabon's main oil hub of Port Gentil is under curfew after violence sparked by the announcement that Ali Ben Bongo, son of the country's long-time leader Omar Bongo, had been elected president.

Port Gentil is under a dusk-to-dawn curfew following a day of violence during which opposition demonstrators burned the French consulate and looted nearby shops. Prisoners in the port were broken out of jail.

The French Foreign Ministry says demonstrators attacked facilities owned by the French oil firm Total and the U.S. oil services company Schlumberger. The Foreign Ministry says there are no plans at present to evacuate French residents from Port Gentil, although all have been advised to remain in their homes.

Opponents of the ruling party rioted following the declaration that former Defense Minister Ali Ben Bongo won Sunday's presidential election.

Soldiers and opposition supporters clashed in the streets of the capital, Libreville. Politicians allied with opposition candidate Pierre Mamboundou say he was slightly injured in the unrest.

The violence follows days of delays in announcing final results of the vote because the electoral commission was split over its authority to investigate returns from nearly 3,000 polling stations

During that delay, all of the three leading candidates declared themselves the winner.

But when Interior Minister Jean Francois Ndongou announced the results on live television on Thursday, victory went to Mr. Bongo.

Ndongou says Mr. Bongo won nearly 42 percent of Sunday's vote. Mamboundou and former Interior Minister Andre Mba Obame each won more than 25 percent. That makes the ruling party candidate the winner because Gabon does not hold a run-off election if no candidate wins more than half of the ballots cast.

In an interview with VOA's French to Africa Service, Mr. Bongo was asked about winning an election in which more than half the voters cast their ballots for someone else.

The president-elect said that Gabon's plurality system is the same as the one used in the United States. Mr. Bongo said he will govern with a ruling party majority in both the Assembly and the Senate, and that he hopes all political parties will work together to develop the country.

Mr. Bongo ran the best financed campaign and was considered the front-runner since his father, Omar Bongo, died in June after 42 years in power.

Both Obame and Mamboundou are rejecting the election results. Obame says some ballot boxes were stuffed for the ruling party and that opposition supporters were excluded from the vote counting process. Mamboundou also accuses the ruling party of fraud, saying the Gabonese people do not want power passed dynastically from father to son.

African Union observers say the vote was held in a general atmosphere of calm and tranquility, despite irregularities that included the presence of security officers around the polls, confusion about electoral laws, the absence of officials during vote counting, and some ballot boxes not being properly sealed.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is urging calm and restraint by all concerned.

Former colonial power France says the vote took place under "acceptable conditions" and that losing candidates who want to contest the result should do so in Gabon's constitutional court.

Mr. Bongo's election is not official until that court validates his win.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs