Opposition leader Jean Ping on Saturday lashed a decision by Gabon’s top court to validate President Ali Bongo’s re-election, as police and troops patrolled the deserted streets of Libreville to prevent a new flareup of violence. Ping accused the Constitutional Court of “bias (and) miscarriage of justice” following a ruling early Saturday that upheld Bongo’s disputed victory in the August 27 presidential election. “I will not retreat. As president clearly elected by the Gabonese people, I remain at your side to defend your vote and your sovereignty,” Ping said. Concern has been growing that a ruling in favour of Bongo, in power since the death of his long-ruling father Omar Bongo in 2009, could spark more of the deadly unrest Gabon saw after the president’s re-election was announced.
Ping, a career diplomat and a former top official at the African Union, had filed a legal challenge earlier this month demanding a recount.
The Constitutional Court confirmed Bongo as victor and partially amended the results, saying his lead over Ping had risen from a wafer-thin 6,000, as was first announced, to 11,000 votes.
Libreville’s nearly empty streets were under the watch of a heavy police and military presence on Saturday. Checkpoints dotted routes into the capital’s centre, helicopters hovered overhead and elite troops protected the presidential palace, but there were no reports of any violence.
Full Article: Gabon opposition chief slams election court ruling – Yahoo7.