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Gabon Dissolves Opposition Party

Andre Mba Obame (C) (AMO) greets supporters upon his arrival at the airport Leon Mba in Libreville, 30 Dec 2010

The main opposition party in Gabon has been dissolved and the party leader accused of treason.

The Interior Ministry disbanded the National Union one day after its leader, Andre Mba Obame, declared himself president in a swearing-in ceremony in the capital, Libreville.

Obame, who finished second in Gabon's 2009 presidential race, also named a government of 19 ministers.

Obame said Tuesday that the vote of the people should take precedence over a court verdict.

More than a year ago, Gabon's constitutional court upheld official results that gave the victory to Ali Ben Bongo with about 42 percent of the vote.

Mba Obame earned roughly 25 percent.

He and eight other opposition candidates contested the results, alleging massive fraud. But most electoral observers said the vote was fair, despite some irregularities.

Mr. Bongo is the son of Omar Bongo, who ruled Gabon for more than 40 years before his death shortly before the election.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.