Gabon’s president says ‘no and never’ to a debate with opposition leader

Gabon’s president says ‘no and never’ to a debate with opposition leader

Gabon’s President Ali Bongo has declined to participate in a televised debate with his main challenger and former African Union Chief Jean Ping, who is seeking to end half a century rule by the Bongo family.

Peng accepted to fully participate in the debate on the ground that journalists to moderate the debate would be pro-Bongo but instead got accused by Bongo’s advisors of having a hidden agenda. Bongo’s camp said Ping is attempting to mask his fears after his son was accused of corruption.

Jean Ping supporters called the accusations “ridiculous” as the debate offer came from the former African Union chairman.

Ali Bongo became president of Africa’s fourth largest oil producing nation in 2009 after his father died. Jean Ping who served as AU Chief from 2008 to 2012 was considered closed to Ali Bongo’s father Omar Bongo in whose cabinet he served as foreign minister for a decade.

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