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Ping wins fresh support in bid to oust Gabon's Bongo

Leon Paul Ngoulakia, candidate for the upcoming presidential election in Gabon, speaks during an interview with AFP in Paris on August 2, 2016A cousin of Gabon’s President Ali Bongo has withdrawn his candidacy in next week’s presidential race, saying he had decided instead to throw his support behind rival challenger Jean Ping. Leon-Paul Ngoulakia — Bongo’s first cousin — announced his decision late on Saturday at a rally in the eastern city of Franceville, one of the president’s traditional strongholds. Although Ngoulakia only represents a modest number of votes, his rallying behind Ping, a former top African Union official, has a symbolic resonance because he is a member of Bongo’s family and of the Teke, the country’s main ethnic group which has ruled for nearly half a century.

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