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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 February, 2004, 16:31 GMT
Gabon leader in beauty queen row
Miss Peru
Gabon denies Miss Peru's allegations
A diplomatic row has broken out between Peru and Gabon over an alleged incident between a Peruvian beauty queen and President Omar Bongo.

The Peruvian ambassador to the United Nations has contacted his Gabonese counterpart to express serious concern.

The Gabonese Government has dismissed the accusations by Ivette Santa Maria.

She says that after her arrival in Gabon to host a beauty contest she was taken to the presidential palace and shown into a room with a large bed.

His office has expressed "surprise and indignation at the defamatory campaign... aimed at undermining the reputation of Gabon and its president".

The statement, carried by French news agency AFP, says the campaign coincides with preparations for presidential elections expected next year.

Mr Bongo, 67, is Africa's second longest-serving leader.

Country profile: Gabon
29 Nov 02  |  Country profiles



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