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Constitutional court to recount presidential vote

Gabon's constitutional court has announced a recount of all of the votes in the presidential election held on August 30. Scheduled for September 29, the recount was prompted by official challenges from opponents of president-elect Ali Bongo.

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AFP - Gabon's constitutional court on Tuesday will recount all the votes from last month's contested presidential election won by the son of longtime leader Omar Bongo Ondimba, it was announced Saturday.

A recount is planned "for Tuesday, September 29 beginning at 1400 (1300 GMT)," according to a letter sent to candidates who filed appeals with the court, said Richard Moulomba Mombo, a spokesman for opposition candidate Pierre Mamboundou.

Another candidate's team provided the same information on condition of anonymity. The court also confirmed the information and said all votes would be counted again.

According to official results approved by the constitutional court, Ali Bongo won the August 30 election with 41.73 percent of the vote.

Ex-interior minister Andre Mba Obame finished second with 25.88 percent and Mamboundou placed third with 25.22 percent.

The single-round election followed the death of ex-president Bongo, who ruled the country for 41 years.

Opposition figures said the vote was rigged, and a total of 11 appeals were filed with the constitutional court, which has until October 18 to rule.

Mamboundou's spokesman said the letter from the court asked those who filed appeals to unite under one representative to oversee the recount. The spokesman, however, said candidates had different arguments and would not be able to do so.

The opposition claimed on Thursday that at least five people were killed in violence that swept Gabon's oil city of Port-Gentil between September 3 and 6 after the disputed poll.

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