Jean Ping re­jects rul­ing uphold­ing Bongo’s win

Op­po­si­tion leader urges peo­ple to re­main vig­i­lant and mo­bilised

The Star (Kenya) - - News -

REUTERS/ Gabon op­po­si­tion leader Jean Ping on Satur­day re­jected what he said was an “un­just” rul­ing by the Con­sti­tu­tional Court, which up­held the vic­tory of Pres­i­dent Ali Bongo in the Au­gust 27 poll that he says was tar­nished by fraud.

The re­fusal by Ping, who says he won the pres­i­den­tial poll, to ac­cept the court rul­ing raises the prospect of a po­ten­tially vi­o­lent po­lit­i­cal cri­sis in the cen­tral African oil pro­ducer.

The court had agreed to Ping’s pe­ti­tion to re-ex­am­ine re­sults in Haut- Ogooue prov­ince, where Bongo was de­clared to have won 95 per cent on a turnout of 99.9 per cent.

How­ever, in a rul­ing late on Fri­day, it re­fused to ac­cept copies of vote tally sheets pro­vided as ev­i­dence by Ping, stat­ing he failed to prove their au­then­tic­ity.

Speak­ing to sup­port­ers and re­porters at his res­i­dence in the cap­i­tal Li­bre­ville, Ping called for peo­ple to “re­main vig­i­lant and mo­bilised”.

“We will en­sure the choice of the Gabonese peo­ple is re­spected. 2016 will not be 2009,” Ping said.

Bongo came to power in a con­tentious 2009 elec­tion fol­low­ing the death of his fa­ther Omar Bongo, who was pres­i­dent of Gabon for 42 years.

Ping, a life­long po­lit­i­cal in­sider in Gabon who has also served as chair­man of the African Union Com­mis­sion, was a close ally of Omar Bongo.

Pres­i­dent Bongo sought to ease ten­sions on Satur­day, call­ing for di­a­logue and promis­ing a new in­clu­sive gov­ern­ment. He re­jected the op­tion of in­ter­na­tional me­di­a­tion.

/REUTERS

Gabonese op­po­si­tion can­di­date Jean Ping greets sup­port­ers out­side his cam­paign head­quar­ters af­ter pro­claim­ing he won the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion in Li­bre­ville, Gabon, on Au­gust 28

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