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Opposition cries foul, calls for election delay

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-08-13

11 out of 23 Gabonese presidential candidates, including opposition heavyweights, have issued a joint call to postpone the presidential election set for August 30, citing at least 120,000 duplicate names found on electoral lists.

AFP- Opposition candidates in Gabon's presidential ballot have banded together to push for a postponement of the vote due to problems with electoral lists, officials said Wednesday.
   
"We cannot accept the elections on August 30," said one of the candidates, Jules Aristide Bourdes Ougouliguende.
   
"In the current climate, the irregularities and disparities are too flagrant."
   
He and 10 other candidates plan to ask the courts to postpone the vote, Bourdes Ougouliguende said. His comments followed a meeting between the candidates along with officials from the government and the presidency.
   
The 11 are considered the heavyweight opposition candidates in the election which follows the death of Omar Bongo Ondimba, who ruled the country for 41 years.
   
A total of 23 candidates are in the race, including Bongo's son, Defence Minister Ali Ben Bongo.
   

Prime Minister Paul Biyoghe Mba of the ruling PDG party participated in Wednesday's talks, but ruled out postponing the vote.
   
"The candidates other than PDG candidates have made certain requests," he said. "Problems with the reliability of lists, delays ..."
   
He said some 120,000 duplicate names have so far been discovered on the electoral lists in the country of 1.5 million people, but that the problems were being addressed.

Date created : 2009-08-13

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