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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bongo Sworn In As Gabon President

The son of Gabon's longtime leader has been sworn in as president following disputed elections that opposition candidates say were fraudulent.

Ali Ben Bongo took the oath of office Friday in a ceremony at the Presidential Palace. At least seven leaders from the region attended.

Mr. Bongo told the crowd that he wants to end corruption and injustice in Gabon.

He was sworn in four days after Gabon's constitutional court upheld his victory in the August 30 presidential election following a recount of the ballots.

Official results gave Mr. Bongo 42 percent of the vote.

Nine opposition candidates had challenged the results. They included the second- and third-place finishers Andre Mba Obame and Pierre Mamboundou, who each got about 25 percent of the vote.

The court rejected all opposition challenges alleging fraud.

Most electoral observers believe the vote was fair, despite some irregularities.

Mr. Bongo is the son of Omar Bongo, who ruled Gabon for more than 40 years before his death in June.

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