Gabon presidential candidates pull out

August 28, 2009 12:00 am

, LIBREVILLE, Aug 28 – – Eleven candidates for this weekend’s presidential election in Gabon said Friday they had pulled out of the race to back the independent contender, former minister Andre Mba Obame.

Mba Obame, 52, had been chosen as their preferred candidate at a secret ballot among the candidates during a meeting chaired by former prime minister Jean Eyeghe Ndong, said a statement sent to AFP.

Among the other politicians backing Mba Obame was Casimir Oye Mba, former minister for mines, oil and hydrocarbons. Oye Mba had been seen as one of the frontrunners in Sunday’s contest.

The meeting of the candidates only finished at 3:30 am (0230 GMT) Friday morning.

The withdrawal of the 11 candidates leaves 12 hopefuls still in the race including Ali Bongo Ondimba, son of the country’s longtime president Omar Bongo, who is the overwhelming favourite.


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