Opposition demands recount after disputed poll

Opposition demands recount after disputed poll

Gabon’s main opposition parties demanded that authorities conduct a recount of a disputed election the government said was won by the son of the country’s long-ruling president.

Fifteen of the 17 candidates who took part in the August 30 vote held a news conference in the capital, Libreville, to voice their concerns about Ali Bongo’s victory.

They offered no proof, but alleged in a joint statement there had been “serious manipulation”.

The second- and third-place finishers – opposition leaders Andre Mba Obame and Pierre Mamboundou – were present. It was the first time Mr Mamboundou appeared in public since results were announced on Thursday.

The group also called for an international commission to investigate postelection violence that centred on Port Gentil, the country’s oil hub and second-largest city.

Evidence of the several days of chaos was still ubiquitous in Port Gentil. Shopkeepers swept glass from streets littered with burned-out cars, while hungry residents stood in long lines to buy bread.

Torched shops scarred many neighbourhoods, and with public services still on hold, rubbish lay on the roadsides and debris in the street.

Still, the city showed signs of recovery on its second day of calm since rioting began after the government announced Ali Bongo had won the election.

He is being accused of rigging the vote to replace his father, Omar Bongo, who died in June after ruling for 41 years.

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