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It's 'Dallas' in Gabon as country awaits key vote ruling

Smoke and flames are pictured from the National Assembly building following the August 31 announcement that Bongo had been re-elected by fewer than 6,000 votesThe head of Gabon’s top court, which has the pivotal task of ruling if President Ali Bongo’s contested re-election is valid, is a former beauty queen whose affair with the leader’s father produced two children. Marie-Madeleine Mborantsuo is in the limelight in this oil-rich Central African nation where Bongo’s victory is being challenged by his former brother-in-law, veteran diplomat Jean Ping. For over 20 years the glamorous 61-year-old has headed the nine-member Constitutional Court, dubbed the “Leaning Tower of Pisa” by the opposition for allegedly kowtowing to the Bongo regime.

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