Gabon’s embattled President Ali Bongo on Wednesday accused EU observers who criticized his country’s election of overlooking irregularities in the camp of his rival, Jean Ping.
On Tuesday, the observer team reported a “clear anomaly” in voting in Haut-Ogooue province, Bongo’s heartland.
“I would also have liked them to have noted some anomalies in the fiefdom of Mr Ping,” Bongo told France’s RTL radio.
“If we’re raising anomalies, we have to be clear, balanced and raise all the anomalies that have been noted.”
Bongo, who has been in power since 2009, claimed victory in the August 27 poll by a wafer-thin margin of some 6,000 votes.
The opposition has bitterly contested the vote in Haut-Ogooue, where official results showed turnout at more than 99 percent with 95 percent voting for Bongo.
In their analysis, the EU election monitors said: “The number of non-voters, as well as blank and disqualified votes, reveals a clear anomaly in the final results in Haut-Ogooue.”
Bongo has ducked calls for a recount, saying that only the Constitutional Court could order a repeat count.
“I cannot violate the (electoral) law,” he insisted.
Bongo is under increasing pressure at home and abroad after Justice Minister Seraphin Moundounga resigned on Monday demanding a recount “polling station by polling station.”
Manuel Valls, prime minister of former colonial power France, has said it would be “wise” to do a recount.