- Title: Gabon President Ali Bongo sworn in for second term
- Date: 27th September 2016
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (French) GABON PRESIDENT ALI BONGO SWEARING SAYING: "To uphold and defend the constitution and rule of law, to conscientiously fulfil the duties with which I've been entrusted, and to be fair to all, I swear it." (FROM LEFT TO RIGHT) TOGO PRESIDENT FAURE GNASSINGBE, MALI PRESIDENT IBRAHIM BOUBACAR KEITA, SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE PRESIDENT EVARISTO CARVALHO AND NIGER PRESIDENT MAHAMADOU ISSOUFOU SITTING DOWN (SOUNDBITE) (French) GABON PRESIDENT ALI BONGO SAYING: "In accordance with African tradition in general and Bantu in particular, I invite all of the nation's stakeholders to sit together in order to find the solutions that will satisfy our compatriots. Here, issues are resolved within the family" (FROM LEFT TO RIGHT) TOGO PRESIDENT FAURE GNASSINGBE, MALI PRESIDENT IBRAHIM BOUBACAR KEITA, SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE PRESIDENT EVARISTO CARVALHO AND NIGER PRESIDENT MAHAMADOU ISSOUFOU SITTING (SOUNDBITE) (French) GABON PRESIDENT ALI BONGO SAYING: "We must enter a dynamic of concord and appeasement. We must resolve our problems amongst Gabonese, in Gabon, and if necessary with the help of our African brothers." SENATORS SITTING (SOUNDBITE) (French) GABON PRESIDENT ALI BONGO SAYING: "(the youth which represents just over half of our population, deserves all our attention) in order to return to them the confidence that is necessary to face up the challenges of today and tomorrow. This seven-year term that opens now will be entirely dedicated to them (the youth), as I will be." PEOPLE SITTING ALI BONGO RECEIVING THE MASTER OF THE ORDER OF NATIONAL GABON MINISTERS LISTENING BONGO BEING AWARDED GRAND MASTER OF THE NATIONAL ORDERS NECKLACE BONGO RECEIVING THE CONSTITUTION (RED BOOK) AND KISSING IT BONGO AND HIS WIFE SYLVIA SHAKING HANDS WITH MALI PRESIDENT AND STANDING FOR THE CAMERAS
- Embargoed: 12th October 2016 19:15
- Keywords: Gabon Libreville Ali Bongo Jean Ping election inauguration
- Location: LIBREVILLE, GABON
- City: LIBREVILLE, GABON
- Country: Gabon
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA00251CGF2F
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Gabon President Ali Bongo was sworn in for a second term on Tuesday (September 27) and called for unity at a low-key ceremony following a razor-thin election victory whose integrity was questioned by international observers.
Bongo's victory by less than 6,000 votes has drawn unwelcome scrutiny on the president, whose family has ruled the oil-producing state in Central Africa for 49 years.
France called for a recount and the European Union said it detected anomalies in Bongo's stronghold province of Haut-Ogooue, where he won 95 percent of the vote on a 99.9 percent turnout. Opposition leader Jean Ping said the election was rigged.
Fears of violence when the Constitutional Court declined Ping's petition for a recount and ratified the result have not materialised but Tuesday's inauguration ceremony was kept low-key in an apparent attempt to forestall any possible trouble.
Riot gear was pre-emptively laid out alongside military vehicles on main streets, but many residents did not even know the inauguration was taking place.
"I invite all the major stakeholders in the nation to sit down together in order to find solutions that will satisfy our compatriots," said Bongo who took power in 2009 on the death of his father who ruled for 42 years.
At least six people died in clashes between protesters and security forces when the initial results of the Aug. 27 vote were announced.
The ceremony, attended by the presidents of Mali, Togo, Niger, and Sao Tome and Principe, was announced to the press only the day before.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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