Libreville – An American think tank with close ties to government is reportedly set to celebrate Gabonese President Ali Bongo as an "exceptional global citizen" despite the tension that continues to grip the country following controversial elections.
According The Telegraph, Bongo would receive a Global Citizen Award from the Atlantic Council "during a glittering reception in New York" next week.
It was not clear whether Bongo would accept the award in person.
The award was given to "individuals who have made exceptional and distinctive contributions to strengthening the transatlantic relationship".
The announcement of the award came as the dispute over the central African country’s presidential elections intensified, as opposition candidate Jean Ping mounted a legal challenge, accusing Bongo of fraud.
Reports indicated that the filing at the constitutional court was lodged on Thursday last week.
Ping, who sought to unseat the family that has ruled the oil-rich country for more than four decades, declared himself the winner soon after the announcement of the results.
Official results said Bingo won the August 27 vote by less than 2 percentage points. There was no provision for a runoff in Gabon.