Poll rival says Gabon's Bongo should take DNA test

President Ali Bongo Ondimba's parentage is being questioned by rivals. (File, Issouf Sanogo,  AFP)
President Ali Bongo Ondimba's parentage is being questioned by rivals. (File, Issouf Sanogo, AFP)

Paris - President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon should take a DNA test to prove his parentage and eligibility to run for re-election later this month, a rival candidate said.

Bongo faced allegations that he is not Gabonese, but Nigerian, and that he was adopted by his father Omar, who was president from 1967 until his death in 2009.

"We are faced with a candidate who has no right to be a candidate. We are witnessing a forced transition and a violation of our constitution," said Leon Paul Ngoulakia, one of 14 people challenging Bongo in the August 27 election.

Ngoulakia is a cousin of Bongo's and until recently was one of his closest aides.

"Ali Bongo has produced at least four birth certificates, all seemingly fake. How come none of our institutions are able to prove his nationality and parentage," Ngoulakia told AFP during a visit to Paris.

"Why doesn't he simply submit to a DNA test to end all this debate? The people of Gabon are tired of this affair and want to hear other debates that are more important to our country's future," he said.

On July 25, the constitutional court rejected an appeal against the eligibility of Bongo, who came to power in a disputed election following his father's death.

"The legal battle is not over. Procedures are continuing, the law must be followed all the way," insisted Ngoulakia.

He said that Gabonese authorities had prevented opposition candidates holding public meetings and used tear gas in demonstrations.

"Conditions for a peaceful and transparent election are not in place," he said.

Bongo himself said as much, claiming in an interview with Jeune Afrique magazine that his opponents had a strategy of stoking unrest with their persistent claims of his ineligibility.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Would you choose to continue working from home after the coronavirus lockdown if given the option?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, it's much better for me
40% - 7280 votes
No ways! I can't wait to get back to the office
12% - 2127 votes
A mixture of both would suit me best
48% - 8782 votes
Vote
USD/ZAR
14.51
(-0.5)
GBP/ZAR
19.95
(-0.4)
EUR/ZAR
17.33
(-0.2)
AUD/ZAR
11.09
(-0.2)
JPY/ZAR
0.13
(-0.2)
Gold
1,745.56
(+0.7)
Silver
25.35
(+2.1)
Platinum
1,160.50
(-1.2)
Brent Crude
63.28
(+0.5)
Palladium
2,697.50
(+0.7)
All Share
67,073
(+1.0)
Top 40
61,383
(+1.2)
Financial 15
12,155
(+0.1)
Industrial 25
87,974
(+1.6)
Resource 10
67,823
(+1.0)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo