LIBREVILLE, Sept 20 Gabon President Ali Bongo
wants talks with opposition leader Jean Ping to forestall any
possible violence when the Constitutional Court makes a crucial
ruling on the country's disputed Aug. 27 election, a government
spokesman said on Tuesday.
The court must rule by Friday on a request by Ping to
recount votes in the province of Haut-Ogooue, a Bongo
stronghold. The president won 95 percent there on a turnout of
99.9 percent, helping him to an overall victory of less than
Bongo is willing to meet other candidates "in order to avoid
the hate, barbarism and violence ... so that no more Gabonese
lose their lives," spokesman Alain-Claude Nze said on state
Nze gave no details of the content or timing of the talks.
Ping accuses the president of stealing the election. The
dispute led to riots that killed at least six people and brought
unwelcome international scrutiny on Bongo, whose family has
ruled the Central African country for nearly 50 years.
There was no immediate comment from Ping on the offer. He
has previously said he has no faith in the court because of its
ties to Bongo's family.
(Reporting by Gerauds Wilfried Obangome and Edward McAllister;
editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg, G Crosse)