News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

Gabon’s Bongo floors opponent in court

President Bongo of Gabon

Gabon’s Constitutional Court has validated the re-election of President Ali Bongo, rejecting opposition leader Jean Ping’s application for a recount of votes, Radio France Internationale reported Saturday.

Bongo defeated Ping 49.8 per cent to 48.23 per cent in a contested August 27 election, allowing Bongo to extend his family’s 49-year rule in the former French colony in Central Africa.

Ping filed an application for a recount in early September, claiming 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.

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

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 a dispute election in 2009 following the death of his father Omar Bongo Ondimba, who had ruled Gabon since 1967.(dpa/NAN)