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Gabon President, Opposition Engage in Talks Over Conflict

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Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Gabon’s President Ali-Ben Bongo Ondimba and majority and minority political groups have started talks amid opposition accusations that the results of the 2009 presidential election were falsified.

The groups are meeting with the president “to discuss Gabon’s deteriorating political and economic situation,” the office of the president said in a statement today in Libreville, the capital.

The meeting will allow for a discussion on the implementation of “biometrics” in the electoral system, around which the dispute revolves, and its application for pending elections and a revision of the electoral roll among other issues, according to the statement.

Gabon’s political opposition has alleged that Bongo wasn’t properly elected, doesn’t want to reduce spending and isn’t involved enough in tackling corruption. There is no obvious challenger to his position inside or outside the ruling Parti Democratique Gabonais.

To contact the reporter on this story: Antoine Lawson in Libreville at ankolo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Emily Bowers at ebowers1@bloomberg.net

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