Africa

Gabon's coalition wins landslide victory

Voters at a polling station in Mouila on 17 December 2011 Image copyright AFP
Image caption The African Union and other observer missions said the election had no major incidents

Gabon President Ali Bongo's ruling coalition has won a landslide election victory, taking 114 of 120 seats in the parliament, according to official figures from the government.

Turnout was just 34.8% after opposition parties and some civil society groups called for a boycott of the poll.

They had wanted measures to be introduced to cut the chances of fraud.

Reacting to the result, opposition leader Jean Eyeghe Ndong warned Gabon was "sliding into a dictatorship".

'Gabon Emerging'

But interior Minister Jean Francois Ndongou said the elections were "perfectly normal".

"The turnout has been roughly the same since 1996. We never break 40% for legislative and local elections."

Gabon's ruling party had already enjoyed a good majority in the national assembly with 93 of the 120 seats.

But an increased majority could help Mr Bongo push through his "Gabon Emerging" plan to expand and diversify its economy.

Saturday's vote was the first parliamentary election since Mr Bongo's father, Omar, died in 2009 after 41 years in power.

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