Ali Bongo sworn in as president of Gabon

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ali Bongo Ondimba was sworn in as the president of the African country of Gabon on Friday, after winning the August 30 presidential elections. He took the oath of office in the capital Libreville, at the Presidential Palace.

"I swear to use all my efforts for the good of the people of Gabon, to ensure their well-being and protect them, to respect and defend the Constitution and guarantee freedom, to consciously carry out my duties and ensure justice for all," he said at the inauguration, raising his right hand.

In a speech, Bongo said that he wanted to put an end to injustice and corruption. "I wish for a Gabon free from corruption and injustice, I wish for a Gabon where the elites move freely and more of them come up, I wish for a Gabon where merit is appreciated, and where the right punishment is given to those who break the law," he said in front of a crowd of invited guests.

Bongo was sworn in four days after the country's constitutional court confirmed his victory in the presidential elections, which had been challenged by nine of the opposition candidates, alleging fraud.

Bongo had won 42% of the vote, official results said. Most independent electoral observers said they thought that the elections were fair.

Bongo, aged 50, is the son of Omar Bongo, who was the leader of Gabon for four decades before he died this June.