Bongo sworn in

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Opinion/worldwide -

ALI Bongo has been sworn in for a new term as the pres­i­dent of Gabon de­spite wide­spread claims that his re­cent re­elec­tion was marred by fraud and vote rig­ging.

Can­nons were fired dur­ing a cer­e­mony on Tues­day in the seafront pres­i­den­tial palace in Li­bre­ville, where Bongo took his oath of of­fice in front of lead­ers from sev­eral African coun­tries.

“I pledge to de­vote all my ef­forts for the good of the Gabonese peo­ple and to en­sure their well-be­ing ... and re­spect and de­fend the con­sti­tu­tion and the rule of law,” said Bongo in the cer­e­mony, with­out mak­ing ref­er­ence to the vi­o­lence that erupted last month af­ter the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

The cer­e­mony came af­ter Gabon’s top court con­tro­ver­sially val­i­dated Bongo’s elec­tion win, en­abling him to ex­tend his fam­ily’s reign over the oil-rich coun­try into a fifth decade.

Bongo won the votes with a ra­zor-blade mar­gin, gar­ner­ing 50.66 per­cent of the votes against 47.24 per­cent for op­po­si­tion leader, Jean Ping, who has vowed not to aban­don his pur­suit of pres­i­dency.

Ping said last week that the ap­proval of Bongo’s vic­tory by Gabon’s Con­sti­tu­tional Court, which he called “mis­car­riage of jus­tice,” would nei­ther unite the Gabonese nor af­fect their de­ter­mi­na­tion to chal­lenge the rigged votes. — PressTV.

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