Pressure mounted on Gabon’s President Ali Bongo on Tuesday over his disputed poll victory as his justice minister resigned over the results and former colonial ruler France suggested a recount.
With Bongo claiming victory by a wafer-thin margin of some 6,000 votes, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls proposed recounting the ballots.
“There needs to be a clear electoral process,” he told French radio station RTL on Tuesday, saying there were “some doubts”.
“It would be wise to do a recount.”
France has already joined the European Union and the United States in calling for the results to be published according to each polling station, but until now had stopped short of demanding a recount.
The move came just hours after Justice Minister Seraphin Moundounga, who is also a deputy prime minister, resigned late Monday, demanding “a recount of the votes, polling station by polling station, and registry by registry”.
Bongo’s defeated rival Jean Ping, a veteran diplomat who has held a top African Union job, on Monday called for a general strike to force “the tyrant” out.
“We cannot accept that our people will be killed like animals without reacting,” Ping wrote on Facebook.
“I propose to cease all activity and begin a general strike,” said Ping, who has denounced the vote as fraudulent.
“We must use all means of resistance to topple this tyrant and believe me, he is on the verge of falling.”