LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AA) – Seraphin Moundounga has resigned from his justice minister post and also from the ruling Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG) following days of protest against the reelection of President Ali Bongo.
In a statement on a local channel TV Plus late Monday, Moundounga reminded Gabonese authorities on the “need to recount ballots of Aug. 27 presidential elections as demanded by the opposition.”
He also called on Bongo to “accept the results which will be announced after the recount”.
On Tuesday, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls also suggested a “recount” of votes of the presidential election in Gabon.
“There needs to be a clear electoral process,” Valls told French radio RTL.
“There are arguments and some doubts. European observers in the country have already made criticism on the basis of objectives. It would be wise to do a recount. Our priority now is the safety of the 15,000 French people who live and work in Gabon,” he said.
He called on the Gabonese authorities to establish the whereabouts of around 15 French nationals who have been missing since the violence began. “It’s true that we have no news of around 15 French citizens, who are in many cases French-Gabonese bi-nationals…We ask the Gabonese authorities that everything be done to find them,” Valls added.
Violence broke out in the tiny Central African state last week after the Electoral Commission announced Bongo had defeated Ping — former head of the African Union Commission — with 49.85 percent votes against 48.16 percent.
The violence left several people dead and thousands arrested.
Opposition supporters rejected the result, alleging irregularities in voter turnout. Ping’s team called for a recount. On Monday, Ping had urged his supporters to go on a general strike to protest against the Bongo regime.
Gabon also experienced a spate of deadly post-electoral violence in 2009 after Bongo succeeded his father, Omar Bongo who had ruled the country for 42 years.
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