LIBREVILLE – Gabon’s prime minister on Sunday named a new government in the wake of disputed elections, but it contained no representatives of opposition leader Jean Ping, who says the vote was rigged.
According to a government statement, the only opposition leader named in Prime Minister Emmanuel Issozet Ngondet’s cabinet of 40 people is Bruno Ben Moubamba, who came in a distant third in the Aug. 27 vote.
Moubamba was chosen as deputy prime minister and minister for urbanisation and social habitats.
President Ali Bongo was declared the election winner by fewer than 6,000 votes. France called for a recount, and the European Union said it found anomalies in Bongo’s stronghold province of Haut-Ogooue, where he won 95 percent on a 99.9 percent turnout.
Bongo became leader in 2009 on the death of his father, who ruled for 42 years. The win gives Bongo another seven years in office.
Ping said last week he did not recognize Bongo’s legitimacy and called for talks on his own terms to form a new republic, spurning an offer of dialogue by the president.
Most members of the new government came from the ruling party, despite previous statements by the government that it sought a political opening with the opposition. The cabinet includes 12 women.
(Reporting by Geraud Wilfried Obangome; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Lisa Von Ahn)