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Gabon Opposition Calls on Voters to Boycott Parliamentary Poll

Opposition political parties in Gabon, sub-Saharan Africa’s sixth-biggest oil producer, called on voters to boycott a parliamentary election planned for Dec. 17, because they said the vote wouldn’t be fair.

The leaders of 12 groups are traveling around the central African nation this week to appeal to residents not to cast ballots for the 120-seat National Assembly, Pierre-Andre Kombila, leader of the Rassemblement National des Bucherons, an opposition group, said in a radio statement yesterday.

Prime Minister Paul Biyoghe Mba asked voters to ignore the boycott call in a statement on Radio Television Gabonaise yesterday.

As many as 475 candidates are vying for the seats, including 90 from President Ali-Ben Bongo Ondimba’s Parti Democratique Gabonaise and 160 candidates from smaller groups that support the leader, according to the country’s Constitutional Court.

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