Gabon postpones legislative elections for lack of money

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Gabon has postponed its legislative elections set for December 27 until next July, citing lack of funds.

The country’s interior ministry said in a statement on Saturday that the oil-producing nation could not hold the vote because it lacks money.

The statement said that the decision was taken after a request by the electoral commission, and that the vote will now take place on July 29, 2017, with parliament extended until then.

“The constitutional court has … decided that the means invoked constitute a case of force majeure justifying the delay of the legislative elections,” the statement said.

Gabon is set to host the African Cup of Nations tournament in January, and some analysts believe the government wants the event to be handled first before the elections can be held.

President Ali Bongo was re-elected by fewer than 6,000 votes after a poll in August that the European Union said was marked by anomalies in Bongo’s stronghold province of Haut-Ogooue, where he won 95 percent on a 99.9 percent turnout.

Bongo became leader in 2009 on the death of his father, who ruled for 42 years. The win gives Bongo another seven years in office.

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