Ali Bongo has won re-election as president of Gabon, extending his family’s 50-year rule

Back in office.
Back in office.
Image: AP/Bart Maat
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

The nearly half a century rule of Gabon’s Bongo family looks set to continue. Incumbent president Ali Bongo, in office since 2009, has won reelection, according to results from country’s election commission released Aug. 31.

Bongo won 49.8% of the vote. His rival, the former head of the African Union commission Jean Ping, has rejected the result and demanded a recount. Earlier this week, Ping declared himself the winner based on unofficial tallies his campaign had collected.

Observers have worried that a disputed election will result in violence. Soldiers were deployed to police Libreville, the capital of Gabon and residents were stockpiling food supplies.

European Union election observers said the election “lacked transparency,” with electoral bodies failing to release things like a list of polling stations or all registered voters. The EU has called for the release of detailed results of every polling station and urged all political camps to keep the peace. 

Gabon’s 2009 election, in which Bongo took over from his father Omar Bongo, was also disputed and ended in violence that killed at least two people.