President Omar Bongo held a strong lead over two key challengers after the first-round vote in in Gabon’s presidential elections on Sunday (yesterday), news agencies said. AFP reported that Bongo won in five polling centres in Libreville, ahead of Pierre Mamboundou, the leader of the Haut conseil de resistance (HCR) and Paul Mba Abessole of the Rassemblement national des bucherons (RNB).
Preliminary results from the centres in two of the capital’s six districts gave about 60 percent to Bongo, 20 percent to the HCR and 10 percent to the RNB. There are eight candidates all told.
Libreville accounts for almost 40 percent of the 595,000 registered voters. If Bongo does not get more than 50 percent of the first round votes a second round will be held on 30 December.
Three opposition leaders denounced what they described as organised fraud attempts in the elections. Pierre-Andre Kombila, the leader of one of the two RNB factions, said cheating was rampant, pointing to “parallel electoral lists, the distribution of false voter cards, and false passports,” AFP said. PANA reported that voting started late in some polling stations due to lack of election materials.
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