- Title: Gabon President Ali Bongo sworn in for second term
- Date: 27th September 2016
- Summary: LIBREVILLE, GABON (SEPTEMBER 27, 2016) (REUTERS) **** WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY **** GABON PRESIDENT ALI BONGO ARRIVING AT START OF SWEARING-IN CEREMONY CONSTITUTIONAL COURT PRESIDENT MARIE-MADELEINE MBORANTSUO SITTING DOWN AT START OF SWEARING-IN CEREMONY
- 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: LVA00151CGF2F
- 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.
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