Gabon opposition leader Ping 'rubbishes' President Bongo’s call for dialogue

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Jean Ping. (File, AFP)
Jean Ping. (File, AFP)

Libreville - Gabon opposition leader Jean Ping has reportedly dismissed President Ali Bongo's calls for talks amid political tension that has gripped the country following disputed elections.

"How can it be that the one who did not win the election should call the winner to a dialogue with him? That's the world upside down," BBC quoted Ping as saying.

"Plus, could you ask someone to a dialogue under the threat of a revolver, with Mirage planes flying low and terrorising civilians, with combat helicopters buzzing over the city, with continuing arbitrary arrests, detentions and killings?

"Can you ask anybody to a dialogue in that way? You obviously see that's a farce."

According VOA, Ping called on the Gabonese people to reject Bongo as their leader, saying that he had "the blood of the Gabonese people on his hands".

"I will not associate myself to this vain attempt to legitimise the abuse of authority that the Gabonese people denounce...I'm calling every Gabonese to an active resistance until it ends," Ping was quoted as saying.

Earlier reports said that Bongo had appointed his former minister of foreign affairs, Franck Emmanuel Issoze Ngondent as prime minister to lead a new unity government.

Ngondent was appointed three days after Bongo took the oath of office to serve his second term as elected leader of the country.

The new prime minister was tasked with delivering on the president's electoral manifesto, with him also expected to address the country's many social issues such as the high youth unemployment rate and poor infrastructure.


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