Gabon's Ping Calls for International Mediation to End Impasse

Jean Ping waves to the crowd of supporters gathered in Libreville, Gabon, on April 15, 2017.

Photographer: Steve Jordan/AFP/Getty Images

Gabon’s main opposition leader, who rejected his defeat in last year’s elections, called for the international community to mediate and help end the Central African nation’s political crisis.

Jean Ping, who lost August’s disputed vote to President Ali Bongo by a narrow margin, said foreign mediation can “re-establish the truth of the ballot boxes,” a move he claimed would prove he won. He addressed supporters and the press Friday in the capital, Libreville.

Ping also said that Bongo should step down. “Solutions that aim at keeping Ali Bongo at the head of the country won’t bring sustainable peace,” he said.

Bongo, who has won two elections since his father died in office in 2007, last month reached an agreement with some opposition groups to form a unity government. Though the talks included 54 political parties, Ping and his supporters didn’t take part. The government has rejected calls for a second round of dialogue to address further disputes.

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