Gabon Opposition Leader Claims Victory

Gabon Opposition Leader Claims Victory Gabon Opposition Leader Claims Victory

Gabon opposition leader, Jean Ping, on Friday declared himself the rightful president and called for a vote recount, days after incumbent Ali Bongo was declared the winner of a weekend election that has sparked deadly violence. “I am the president,” Ping told a press conference at his home in Libreville late Friday, calling for a recount from every polling station. In the 48 hours since the results of Saturday’s election were announced huge crowds of angry supporters, some of whom torched the parliament, have taken to the streets, France24 reported. Bongo’s government launched a fierce crackdown, with security forces arresting around a thousand people. Two people died early Friday following overnight clashes, bringing to five the number killed in the violence that erupted after Bongo was declared the victor of the disputed election on Saturday. Bongo was declared victorious by a razor-thin margin of just under 6,000 votes, but his main challenger Ping, a veteran diplomat and former top African Union official, insisted the vote was rigged and claimed victory for himself. The Gabonese authorities categorically refused any recount, invoking the country’s electoral law that includes no such procedure.