Another coup d’etat has taken place in Africa with a group of senior Gabonese military officers appearing on national television declaring they have seized power, claiming the recent general election lacks credibility and saying they represent all Gabon’s security and defence forces.
According to them, the election results were cancelled, all borders closed until further notice and state institutions dissolved.
Loud sounds of gunfire could be heard in the capital Libreville, a Reuters reporter said, after the television appearance.It was not immediately possible to reach the government for comment.Gabon’s incumbent president, Ali Bongo, won a third term in the presidential election with 64.27% of the vote, the Gabonese election centre said on Wednesday, after a delay-plagued general election that the opposition denounced as fraudulent.His overthrow would end his family’s 53-year hold on power in Gabon.
Announcing the result in the early hours, the elections head, Michel Stephane Bonda, said Bongo’s main challenger, Albert Ondo Ossa, came second with 30.77%. Bongo’s team rejected Ondo Ossa’s allegations of electoral irregularities.
Tensions have run high amid fears of unrest after Saturday’s presidential, parliamentary and legislative vote, which saw Bongo seeking to extend his family’s 56-year grip on power while the opposition pushed for change in the oil-rich but poverty-stricken central African nation.
A lack of international observers, the suspension of some foreign broadcasts, and the authorities’ decision to cut internet service and impose a night-time curfew nationwide after the poll has raised concerns about the transparency of the electoral process.
(Reuters)More updates later….