Violence, Evidence Of Possible Fraud In Gabonese Presidential Vote

Sept. 10, 2009, midnight

President Ali BONGO Ondimba has banned opposition party officials from traveling outside the country following his disputed election on August 30. Pierre MAMBOUNDOU, one of three leading candidates in the vote, called for civil disobedience earlier this week and told reporters that he had formed his own 30-member cabinet. Residents of Port-Gentil meanwhile have been fleeing post-election violence by canoe, and protesters on September 4 burned French political and business buildings in the country, arguing foreign interference in the election. Allegations of fraud center around unusually high turnout in some polling stations as well as discoveries of what some believe are counterfeit voter identification cards. The country's election authority certified BONGO'S election on September 4. BONGO succeeds his father, Omar BONGO, who led Gabon for 41 years.

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