45 challenges to Gabon's poll results
03 January 2012, 12:00
Libreville - Gabon's Constitutional Court has
received 45 demands from both the opposition and the ruling party for
the annulment of results of December 17 elections, court officials said
"In all, 45 challenges were filed. There can be no
others. The deadline has passed," one court source told AFP. The
deadline in the equatorial African country was midnight on Saturday.
"Hearings will begin in the next few days," another court source said.
Gabon has long been ruled by the Gabonese Democratic Party, which won
114 of the 120 seats in the National Assembly and backs President Ali
According to the daily L'Union, the Centre of
Liberal Reformers, led by prominent former minister Jean Boniface
Assele, which took only one seat, has contested the outcome in 16
The Union of the Gabonese People (UPG), which is
one of the main opposition parties, won no seats in the election, as
against seven in the outgoing assembly, and has made eight challenges to
Some of the opposition boycotted the poll in the
absence of biometric tools to prevent cheating. The UPG spoke of
"massive fraud" and entered the campaign late after long calling for a
In his New Year's wishes to the nation, Bongo thanked
the electorate for his party's sweeping victory. "I have taken the full
measure of your backing for our plans for society. [...] You have given
me the necessary majority to speed up reforms and implement the measures
needed for a developing Gabon."
The PDG itself has challenged
the outcome in six constituencies where it was beaten by the Rally for
Gabon party of a former opposition leader who has gone over to the
regime, ex-deputy prime minister Paul Mba Abessole.