Defiant Gabon President Hits Back At EU Poll Criticism

Defiant Gabon president hits back at EU poll criticism

PARIS,(UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News -7th Sept,2016) - Gabon's Ali Bongo on Wednesday rejected criticism of his disputed presidential election victory, accusing EU observers of bias towards his rival and insisting that only the country's top court could order a recount.

Oil-rich Gabon has been in turmoil since the August 27 poll, in which Bongo's rival Jean Ping also claimed victory. Several people have been killed in violence triggered by the results, which showed Bongo winning a second term by a wafer-thin margin of some 6,000 votes.

On Tuesday, an EU election observer team reported a "clear anomaly" in voting in Haut-Ogooue province, Bongo's heartland.

Official results gave turnout in the province at more than 99 percent, with 95 percent backing the incumbent.

Reacting to the criticism, Bongo, 57, told France's RTL radio: "I would also have liked them to have noted some anomalies in the fiefdom of Mr Ping. "If we're raising anomalies, we have to be clear, balanced and raise all the anomalies that have been noted." The opposition has accused Bongo of rigging the vote and called for a recount -- a call echoed by Manuel Valls, prime minister of Gabon's former colonial power France.

A defiant Bongo ruled out any new tally unless the Constitutional Court ordered one.