Ali Bongo sworn in as Gabon's president after disputed election

Gabon President Ali Bongo took his oath of office Tuesday at a ceremony in the capital, Libreville.

Story highlights

  • Bongo took his oath of office Tuesday after deadly protests in Gabon
  • Jean Ping lost his presidential bid by a mere 6,000 votes -- less than 2 percentage points

(CNN)Gabon President Ali Bongo has been sworn in for a second 7-year term following a disputed election that sparked deadly violence and uncertainty for the Central African nation.

Bongo took his oath of office at a ceremony in the capital of Libreville Tuesday. The start of the president's second term comes after the country's Constitutional Court validated the results of the August election that declared him the winner, according to a statement by the Gabonese government.
Presidential candidate Jean Ping casts his ballot at the Martine Oulabou school in Libreville during Gabon's presidential election on August 27, 2016.
"I pledge to devote all my efforts to the good of the Gabonese people, to ensure their well-being," Bongo said during the ceremony. "To respect and protect the Constitution and the rule of law, to conscientiously fulfill the duty of my office and to be fair to all."
    Bongo's main challenger, opposition leader Jean Ping, called the court's decision "biased" for "pointedly ignoring the urgent calls for transparency launched by the national and international community."
    Earlier this month Ping formally filed an appeal with the court that alleged election fraud. Ping lost the presidential bid by a mere 6,000 votes -- less than 2 percentage points.
    The protests that followed the initial results announcement turned deadly. Bongo's re-election extends his family's half-century rule over the oil-rich nation of 1.8 million.