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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Gabon court upholds Ali Bongo election victory


Gabon's constitutional court has upheld President Ali
Bongo's election victory, rejecting opposition calls for a
recount.
There have been fears that such a decision could trigger
fresh violence.
The government said it would hold opposition leader Jean
Ping responsible if clashes erupted following the ruling.
President Bongo won August's election by just 6,000 votes
but the opposition says the poll was rigged.
Following the court ruling, President Bongo called for a
"political dialogue" with the opposition.
Correspondents say residents of Libreville were stockpiling
food ahead of the court ruling. There were long queues at
banks and supermarkets on Friday and the French embassy
told its citizens to stay indoors.
Riot police have been deployed across the city.
Mr Ping had alleged fraud in one of the president's main
strongholds, Haut-Ogooue province, where Mr Bongo won
95% of the vote on a turnout of 99.9%.
Mr Ping had warned that Gabon could face serious
instability if the court rejected his appeal for a recount in
that province.
The court partially changed the results of the bitterly-fought
election, giving President Bongo 50.66% of the vote and Mr
Ping 47.24%.
The result of the election on 27 August sparked days of
deadly violence.
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