(AFP) – Oct 12, 2009
LIBREVILLE — Gabon's Constitutional Court on Monday validated Ali Bongo's disputed presidential election victory after reviewing challenges from nine candidates, the court president said.
"The election of Mr. Ali Bongo Ondimba as president of the Gabonese republic is confirmed," said chief justice Marie Madeleine Mborantsuo.
The court had studied 11 requests for August's election, which opponents claim was rigged, to be annulled.
The court, which carried out a vote recount at the end of September, said Ali Bongo, the son of veteran leader Omar Bongo Ondimba who died in June after 41 years in power, was the winner of the election with 41.79 percent of the ballot.
Second came veteran opposition leader Pierre Mamboundou, originally placed third, with 25.64 percent while the former second-placed Andre Mba Obame came third with 25.33 percent.
The results announced by the court on September 4 had given Bongo 41.73 percent of the vote followed by Mba Obame with 25.88 percent and Mamboundou with 25.22 percent.
Meanwhile, Mba Obame began a hunger strike in protest at the result, his entourage said in a statement.
Mba Obame, a former interior minister, said in the statement his hunger strike would continue "for as long as intimidation, force and violence is used as the sole means to settle the serious socio-political crisis Gabon is currently going through."
"I am ready to sacrifice my life so that Gabon will not sink into dictatorship, civil war and genocide," he said.
Under the constitution, the court needed to resolve the electoral dispute by October 20.
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