Gabonese President Ali Bongo, who has been accused by opposition politicians of voter fraud, resisted calls Wednesday for a recount of votes cast in the country’s presidential election, saying he has no power to order one. European Union observers in Gabon have said there was an “obvious anomaly” in election results that showed Bongo narrowly defeating challenger Jean Ping. The EU observer mission to Gabon is questioning results from Upper Ogooue province, a Bongo stronghold where the incumbent president officially won 95 percent of the votes amid 99 percent voter turnout. The opposition has said the vote tallies in the province were vastly inflated. In a statement Tuesday, the EU mission noted that turnout was significantly lower in Gabon’s eight other provinces, averaging just 48 percent nationwide. “An analysis of the number of non-voters and blank and spoiled ballots reveals an obvious anomaly in the final results of Upper Ogooue,” it said. “…the integrity of the provisional results in this province is consequently compromised.”
The mission chief reiterated a call for Gabonese authorities to publish the results from all polling stations around the country.
Earlier Tuesday, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Gabon should hold a recount of the vote after the opposition alleged that voter fraud took place. “There are arguments and some doubts. European observers in the country have already made criticisms on the basis of objectives. It would be wise to do a recount,” Valls told French radio station RTL.
Full Article: Gabon President Balks at EU Suggestion of Election Recount.