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Saturday, October 3, 1998 Published at 23:13 GMT 00:13 UK

World: Africa

Father Abessole put up for Gabonese president

The Gabonese opposition leader, Father Mba Abessole, has become the fifth politician to enter the race to become president of the central African country.

His candidature was adopted at an extraordinary congress of his National Woodcutters Rally, RNB, in the capital Libreville.

To the applause of his supporters, Mr Abessole said his party was ready to seize power, after having secured unity -- an apparent reference to the break in July with his former deputy, Pierre-Andre Kombila, who's one of four other candidates.

President Omar Bongo has not declared if he'll stand.

No date has been set for the poll.

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