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World Briefing

Gabon

First contested election held

August 31, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Gabonese voted in a national election to replace the late President Omar Bongo, who ruled for more than four decades and ran as the only candidate in many elections.

The election in the West African nation appeared to be peaceful, but a major opposition candidate -- one of 18 on the ballot -- withdrew, saying he feared postelection violence.

Election results are not expected until Wednesday, and the leading contender is the dead ruler's son -- Ali Bongo Ondimba, the nominee of Gabon's ruling party.

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