Page last updated at 10:43 GMT, Wednesday, 30 September 2009 11:43 UK

Gabon opposition rejects re-count

Opposition supporters in Libreville, 02/09
Several people were killed during post-poll opposition protests

Opposition parties in Gabon have rejected the terms of a re-count of votes from last month's controversial presidential poll.

Activists, who alleged widespread vote rigging, were angered after a court ruled that opposition observers would not be allowed to oversee the re-count.

One beaten candidate said the re-count would now have "no value".

Ali Ben Bongo, son of Gabon's long-time leader Omar Bongo, was declared winner of the August election.

But his opponents immediately cried foul, sparking violent protests in which several people were killed.

Opposition activists forced the re-count alleging vote rigging.

They wanted their representatives to oversee the process, but the Constitutional Court disagreed.

The re-count was delayed for a day while officials met opposition leaders, but the court now says it will begin to re-count the votes at 2100 local time (2000 GMT).

Constitutional Court President Marie Madeleine Mborantsuo said bailiffs would act as both officers of the court and representatives of the candidates.

AFP news agency quoted her as saying the court was "not a political organ where political figures can come and impose their point of view".

Beaten candidates in the election say they do not approve of the court's move.

"This recount has no value for us, nor for the truth that we are looking for," said Andre Mba Obame, who finished second in the election.

Earlier a senior official of the ruling Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG), which backed Mr Bongo, said he was not worried.

"The election took place openly. Whether you re-count once or 100 times, it doesn't change the results," said PDG Secretary General Faustin Boukoubi.

Gabon is sub-Saharan Africa's fourth biggest oil producer and Africa's second biggest wood exporter, although most of its 1.4 million people live in poverty.

Last month's election was called after the death of Omar Bongo, one of the world's richest men, who had ruled the nation for four decades.

Print Sponsor

Gabon call for strike falls flat
14 Sep 09 |  Africa
Sarkozy in Gabon election praise
08 Sep 09 |  Africa
Gabon threatens 'state of siege'
06 Sep 09 |  Africa
Ali Bongo: Like father, like son?
04 Sep 09 |  Africa
Country profile: Gabon
26 Jan 11 |  Country profiles


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2018 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific