Many in Gabon rush to withdraw cash, stockpile food

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Jean Ping. (Steve Jordan, AFP)
Jean Ping. (Steve Jordan, AFP)

Libreville - Gabonese people have reportedly rushed to withdraw money from cash points and banks throughout the capital Libreville, as many feared the country could plunge into chaos following disputed elections. 

According to BBC, fears had risen that political instability might occur as a result of the disputed presidential election between President Ali Bongo and opposition leader, Jean Ping.

Some people were, however, left frustrated in their quest to withdraw the cash, as bankers started to refuse to release the capital.

"Bankers no longer want to release the cash, because they know the situation is unstable and the economy is at a risk of a slow-down," a local teacher was quoted as saying. 

Some shops and wholesalers were also running out of goods, as people began to stockpile items in fear of there being a shortage in the near future.

Bongo to be sworn in 

Meanwhile, the Gabon government made an announcement on Tuesday that Ali Bongo was set to be sworn in as president for a second seven-year term. The announcement came just three days after his election victory was controversially validated by the Constitutional Court 

An Al Jazeera report said that the ceremony on Tuesday would be held at the presidential palace in Libreville.

The presidency did not, however, give details of who had been invited or the time of the event. 

The lack of details regarding the ceremony prompted a wave of criticism from the opposition.

"You don't get sworn in unceremoniously in secret," said Jean-Gaspard Ntoutoume Ayi, spokesperson for Bongo's main rival Jean Ping. 

Bongo's victory in the August 27 vote was confirmed on Saturday by the country's top court, which dismissed opposition claims of voter fraud. Violence initially erupted on August 31 after Bongo, 57, was first declared the winner. Demonstrators set the parliament ablaze and clashed with police, who arrested more than 1 000 people.

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