Opponents of Gabon's President-elect Ali Ben Bongo want the country's
constitutional court to annul the results of last month's vote. They
are alleging massive fraud.
Former Interior Minister Andre Mba Obame says he
has come to the "incontestable conclusion" that last month's vote was
false because of what he calls massive fraud orchestrated by electoral
officials to benefit President-elect Bongo.
So he says Gabon's constitutional court should annul those results and overturn Mr. Bongo's victory.
says what the lawsuit is asking of the constitutional court is very
simple: all of the results from each of the 2815 polling stations
should be re-examined to reveal truthfully what happened. Obame says
the Gabonese people have the right for the constitutional court to show
them that respect.
Official results from the August 30
election show Mr. Bongo winning nearly 42 percent of the vote. Obame
finished a distant second with about 26 percent. Long-time opposition
candidate Pierre Mamboundou came third with about 25 percent.
and several other opposition candidates are joining Obame in asking the
constitutional court to annul Mr. Bongo's election because they say
they have found evidence of fraud in more than two-thirds of the
polling station results they have analyzed.
The court has one
month to consider the request. But opposition candidates are
complaining to reporters that they have seen a letter from the foreign
ministry inviting diplomats to the president-elect's swearing-in this
Mr. Bongo is the son of Gabon's long-time ruler
Omar Bongo, who died in June after 42 years in power. His death raised
expectations of change in Gabon, even though his son was considered the
front-runner from the start.
The announcement of another
ruling-party victory sparked violent protests in the city of Port
Gentil, where opposition demonstrators burned the French Consulate and
attacked offices of French and U.S. oil companies. Port Gentil has been
under an overnight curfew since that violence.
efforts to organize nationwide strikes this week failed. Most electoral
observers say they believe the vote was fair despite irregularities
that included the absence of opposition representatives during vote
counting in some polling stations.