Ali Bongo has been sworn in as Gabon’s president for a second seven-year term, three days after his election victory was controversially validated by the Constitutional Court following allegations of fraud.
“I pledge to devote all my efforts for the good of the Gabonese people and to ensure their well-being … and respect and defend the constitution and the rule of law,” the 57-year-old said during Tuesday’s ceremony in the presidential palace in the capital Libreville , according to AFP news agency.
Cannons were fired during the event, which was attended by a handful of African leaders including the presidents of Mali, Niger, Togo and Sao Tome, as well as the prime ministers of Chad, Senegal, the Central African Republic and Morocco, AFP said. Most regional and continental heavyweights, however, stayed away.
Government spokesman Alain-Claude Bilie-By-Nze said Bongo wanted to install “a unity government by this week or the start of next week”.
Earlier on Tuesday, the presidency had said the ceremony was going to be held at the presidential palace, without offering details of who had been invited or the time of the event. The lack of details regarding the ceremony prompted a wave of criticism from the opposition, which has accused Bongo of “stealing” the vote. Read more