Gabon opposition leader applies for electoral recount

Gabon's opposition leader has applied to the country's Constitutional Court for a recount of last month's contested election, Radio France Internationale reported Friday.

President Ali Bongo defeated the opposition's Jean Ping 49.8 per cent to 48.23 per cent, allowing Bongo to extend his family's 49-year rule in the former French colony in Central Africa.

The opposition suspects fraud, particularly because Bongo's home province Haut-Ogooue saw a voter turnout of 99.93 per cent, with more than 95 per cent of votes going to Bongo.

In the country's other eight provinces, voter turnout was at about 48 per cent, according to the electoral commission.

Earlier this week, France recommended a recount while the European Union and the United States called on the electoral commission to publish detailed results of all polling stations.

Former Gabonese justice minister Moundounga Seraphin resigned on Monday in support of a recount, saying the way the election was handled "seriously threatened" peace and security in Gabon.

Violence broke out in the oil-rich but poverty-stricken nation hours after the electoral commission released the results on September 1.

Three people were killed and hundreds of others injured in the post-election violence, according to government.

Bongo was elected for a first term in disputed 2009 polls following the death of his father Omar Bongo Ondimba, who had ruled Gabon since 1967.

Last update: Fri, 09/09/2016 - 10:08
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