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    Gabon Politics

    Gabon: Opposition leader Jean Ping’s home under military surveillance

    APA Libreville (Gabon)

    The Libreville home of Gabon’s main opposition leader Jean Ping has been placed under military surveillance after a speech in which he called on his supporters to take to the streets.

    Ping was President Ali Bongo’s main challenger in the controversial August 2016 presidential election which he lost to the incumbent.

    The move to put his home under watch came after he delivered a day after Gabon marked 57 years of independence.

    In his speech, Ping, a former chairman of the African Union Commission (AUC) called on Gabonese to mobilize using “any lawful means including freedom of expression, freedom to demonstrate, and the fundamental rights stipulated in the constitution.”

    The footage of Mr Ping delivering his speech was broadcast live by some private television before it went viral.

    Some observers have likened his speech to a decision by the opposition to move to the next level after using all legal means to overturn the controversial results of last year’s presidential election and claim victory.

    Although the government may not have officially reacted to the footage, it has already made arrangements which include putting Ping’s home under surveillance.

    Mr. Ping has said he was fully aware of the risks in respect of the footage.

    "I am fully aware of the implications of my speech (...) I expect you to be part of a popular protest and the expression of legitimate anger” he said.

    Jean Ping still challenges the outcome of last year’s presidential poll which incumbent Ali Bongo Ondimba was declared to have won.


    SM/of/pn/as/APA

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