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Gabon to close borders due to polls

LIBREVILLE, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Gabon's land and sea borders will be closed between midnight Dec. 13 to midnight Dec. 14, as the Central African country holds its local elections.

Interior Minister Jean Francois Ndongou said in a statement released on Tuesday night, "No authorization to enter or leave the country will be issued during this period," the minister affirmed.

About 600,000 Gabonese voters are expected to turn out on Dec. 14 to elect departmental and municipal councillors.

The councillors will then elect mayors and the chairmen of departmental councils. In 2014, the same councillors will elect senators who will serve for a period of five years.

For the first time, the local elections will be held in Gabon through a biometric voter register. The opposition has not boycotted the elections as it did in the legislative elections held in December 2011.

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