Gabon Tells Candidates to Refrain From Declaring Victory in Vote

Gabon called on candidates in Saturday’s presidential election to refrain from declaring victory as votes are still being counted, warning it won’t tolerate any “interference” with the electoral process.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement on Facebook that opposition leader Jean Ping, who is President Ali Bongo’s main challenger, had behaved “irresponsibly” by telling his supporters he’d won the election despite numerous irregularities.

Results will be announced by the electoral commission on Tuesday, the ministry said on Twitter. The election went well and the vote count is proceeding normally, it said.

Bongo, whose family has ruled Gabon since 1967, is seeking a second seven-year term in the central African oil producer. Ping, a former chairman of the African Union Commission, in 2014 broke with the ruling Gabonese Democratic Party that’s been in power since Gabon gained independence from France in 1960.