Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

French director Audiard on his Cannes-winner 'Dheepan'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Nigeria marks 500 days since kidnap of Chibok schoolgirls

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

From Sarkozy to Kim Kardashian: posed celebrity photos

Read more

THE DEBATE

The ‘You Stink’ Movement: Lebanon garbage crisis sparks new wave of protests (part 2)

Read more

THE DEBATE

The ‘You Stink’ Movement: Lebanon garbage crisis sparks new wave of protests (part 1)

Read more

FOCUS

Scandals tarnish reputation of India's pharmaceutical industry

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Ten years after Katrina, New Orleans is bustling

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Shock and horror after two journalists shot dead on-air

Read more

ENCORE!

Has New Orleans got its groove back?

Read more

Africa

Bongo tours central Africa after poll win

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-09-17

Gabon’s president-elect Ali Ben Bongo has embarked on a tour of central Africa where he is hoping to secure the blessing of regional leaders after his victory in a presidential election last month sparked violence in the streets.

REUTERS - Gabon’s president-elect Ali Ben Bongo embarked on a tour of central Africa on Friday, seeking to shore up support from regional leaders after winning a vote that his rivals have rejected, sparking violence in the streets.

 

Despite several days of clashes and opposition vows of further protests, Ben Bongo is set to take over as president of the oil-producing nation, which his father Omar Bongo ran for over 40 years until his death in June this year.

 

“President Paul Biya has always considered me as his son ... I had to come and see him so he could give me sound advice,” Ben Bongo said on Cameroon’s state television.

 

After four hours in Cameroon, Ben Bongo was expected to travel to Congo Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo.

 

With Omar Bongo’s death, Biya, who has ruled Cameroon for over 27 years, has become one of the most senior leaders in the tight network of oil-producing former French colonies.

 

“The task ahead of me is not easy ... we will form a government and get to work,” Ben Bongo added.

 

Ben Bongo’s rivals accuse him of rigging the Aug. 30 poll, in which he came out on top, with just under 42 percent.

 

His two nearest rivals, veteran opponent Pierre Mamboundou and Andre Mba Obame, a former interior minister who abandoned the ruling party in June, both scored just over 25 percent and have vowed to challenge Ben Bongo.

 

However, they are yet to officially contest the Constitutional Court’s declaration of Ben Bongo’s victory, which has been recognised by several leaders, including former colonial power France, a long-time ally of Omar Bongo.

 

French interests, including the country’s consulate and a sports club belonging to oil firm Total were attacked in the violence as protestors accuse Paris of backing a dynastic-style succession to protect their interests.

 

As most analysts predicted, the violence, which was most intense in the oil town of Port Gentil, has died down relatively quickly.

 

However, after the anger on the streets and given the considerable vote against him, Ben Bongo, like his father, is likely to seek consensus in his government.

Date created : 2009-09-11

COMMENT(S)