Gabon’s opposition leader lodged a challenge to the presidential election result at the constitutional court on Thursday, hoping to overturn his defeat in a vote whose validity has been questioned at home and abroad.
Jean Ping lost the August 27 election to President Ali Bongo by fewer than 6,000 votes, a result that sparked days of riots in which at least six people were killed.
“Ping’s demand is for a recount of the votes in the province of Haut-Ogooue, voting bureau by voting bureau,” Ping’s spokesman, Jean Gaspard Ntoutoume Ayi, told a news conference.
Haut-Ogooue province is a stronghold of Bongo, whose family has ruled the oil-producing nation for nearly a half century.
Former colonial power France has urged a recount and the European Union has said it found anomalies in the results from Haut-Ogooue.
Official results from Haut-Ogooue showed a participation rate more than double that of other regions and with 95.46 percent of voters backing Bongo.