Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Gabon to Re-count 'Rigged' Poll

Gabon to re-count 'rigged' poll

Gabon's highest court is due to re-count the votes in last month's presidential election, which was marked by accusations of widespread fraud.

The decision was taken after opposition candidates filed 11 complaints of rigging to the constitutional court.

Ali Ben Bongo, son of Gabon's long-time leader Omar Bongo, was officially declared the winner of the August poll.

Opposition leaders immediately cried foul, sparking violent protests in which several people were killed.

Court president Marie Madeleine Mborantsuo said the re-count would take place in the presence of representatives of the opposition parties who had lodged complaints.

A senior official of the ruling Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG), which backed Mr Bongo, said he was not worried.

"The election took place openly. Whether you re-count once or 100 times, it doesn't change the results," said PDG secretary general Faustin Boukoubi, reports the AFP news agency.

One official told AFP that the re-count would start at 1400 local time (1300 GMT) last all night.

Gabon is sub-Saharan Africa's fourth biggest oil producer and Africa's second biggest wood exporter, although most of its 1.4 million people live in poverty.

Last month's election was called after the death of Omar Bongo, one of the world's richest men, who had ruled the nation for four decades.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2009/09/29 09:40:28 GMT

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