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Gabon's court ends period of complaints about election outcome
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09:55, September 21, 2009

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Gabon's Constitutional Court has officially ended the period of complaints about the published election results, after some of the losing candidates in the Aug. 30 presidential vote filed an appeal against the outcome this week.

Marie Madeleine Mborantsouo, president of the court, declared an end on Saturday to the 15-day period for any candidate to lodge an appeal in case of grievances.

Losing contenders began to take the issue to the court on Thursday, when former prime minister Jean Eyeghe Ndong signed an appeal on behalf of a coalition of 15 candidates beaten in the polls.

The coalition led Ndong has voiced their rejection, while calling for a recount of votes because of "great manipulations of the results," stuffing of ballot boxes and incomprehensible interference with the voters registration which they say tilted the outcome in favor of Ali Bongo Ondimba, the eldest son of the late president Omar Bongo Ondimba.

It will take at least one month for a verdict by the court.

Ali Bongo, 50, was declared the winner of the race with 41.73 percent of vote by the electoral commission. The outcome was confirmed by the Constitutional Court afterwards, which also allowed the opponents to file an appeal within 15 days in case of complaints.

The major challengers include former interior minister Andre Mba Obame who won 25.88 percent of vote and opposition leader Pierre Mamboundou who scored 25.22 percent. They both denounced the published results, comparing Ali Bongo's victory to "a constitutional coup d'etat."

Right after the publication of the election results, a wave of violence erupted in the Gabonese capital Libreville and the second largest city Port-Gentil, where protesters torched the French consulate as they believed Ali Bongo had the backing of France. Three people died in riots.

The president-elect awaits the ruling by the court over the complaints pending his inauguration.

Source: Xinhua

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