Magazine article New Internationalist

Ali Bongo Ondimba

Magazine article New Internationalist

Ali Bongo Ondimba

Article excerpt

The 're-election' of Ali Bongo (on 27 August) to a second Presidential term in Gabon is an all too familiar story for an African continent consistently betrayed by an autocratic and corrupt political class. Bongo held on to power through a highly controversial election in which a surge of votes from his district (99.9 per cent turnout, 95 per cent for Bongo) secured a narrow victory over opposition candidate Jean Ping (who also claimed victory). Despite international pressure, and violent demonstrations in the Gabonese capital of Libreville, a recount has been ruled 'out of the question'.

The Bongo family has ruled over oil-rich Gabon on the central African coast for more than a century. Ali's father Omar presided over the distribution of oil wealth to his cronies for 42 years until his demise in 2009, when he was succeeded by his son. …

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