Gabonese opposition leader Jean Ping’s campaign team on Wednesday made fresh calls for a recount of last week’s disputed vote. Re-elected President Ali Bongo had earlier shrugged off recount calls, saying it was a matter for the constitutional court to decide.
The opposition team called on the country’s electoral commission to return to work and recount the votes station by station in the province of Upper-Ogooué, one of Gabon’s nine provinces, and which is a stronghold of the Bongo family where it is reported the president got 95% of the vote after a 99% voter turn out.
“This electoral commission is responsible for the problems that arose. We request the recount of the votes from polling station to per polling station, for the province of Upper-Ogooué,” said René Ndemezo Obiang, who is Jean Ping’s campaign coordinator.
And following the polls violent aftermath, the opposition also claims at least 50 are dead and missing, although the government reports three deaths.
“The most conservative estimates show that there are probably more than 50 deaths in this crisis,” said Alexandre Barro Chambrier, a former ally of president Ali Bongo who joined the opposition.
Bongo has said that under Gabon’s electoral law, his opponents have until Thursday to lodge their complaints with the court, saying that he is already preparing his own objections.