Europe

Dispute intensifies over Gabon presidential election

  • FILE-In this file photo taken on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015, Gabon's President Ali Bongo Ondimba, leaves the Elysee Palace after a meeting with French President Francois Hollande as part of preparation of the upcoming COP21 Climate Conference in Paris, France. President   Ondimba on Wednesday Sept. 7, 2016  tried to deflect European Union observers' findings of a voting anomaly in his stronghold province that pushed him over the edge to win re-election, accusing his lead opponent of ballot fraud and a plot to seize power. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

    FILE-In this file photo taken on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015, Gabon's President Ali Bongo Ondimba, leaves the Elysee Palace after a meeting with French President Francois Hollande as part of preparation of the upcoming COP21 Climate Conference in Paris, France. President Ondimba on Wednesday Sept. 7, 2016 tried to deflect European Union observers' findings of a voting anomaly in his stronghold province that pushed him over the edge to win re-election, accusing his lead opponent of ballot fraud and a plot to seize power. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Thursday Sept. 1, 2016 file photo, Gabonese Police stand guard on a barricade following an election protest in Libreville, Gabon. Post election violence in Gabon has killed between 50 and 100 people, the opposition presidential candidate said Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016, a toll much higher than the government's count of three in days of violent demonstrations against the president's re-election. ( AP Photo/Joel Bouopda, File)

    FILE - In this Thursday Sept. 1, 2016 file photo, Gabonese Police stand guard on a barricade following an election protest in Libreville, Gabon. Post election violence in Gabon has killed between 50 and 100 people, the opposition presidential candidate said Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016, a toll much higher than the government's count of three in days of violent demonstrations against the president's re-election. ( AP Photo/Joel Bouopda, File)  (The Associated Press)

The dispute over Gabon's presidential election has intensified as opposition candidate Jean Ping is mounting a legal challenge and demanding a recount.

A lawyer for Ping, Jean Remy Bantsantsa, announced the move Thursday night.

Ping has already publicly declared himself the winner, even though election results said incumbent President Ali Bongo Ondimba won the Aug. 27 vote.

Those results showed Bongo won by less than 2 percentage points. There is no provision for a runoff in this Central African nation.

European Union observers have expressed concern about results in Bongo's stronghold province.

Bongo's campaign has said it also planned to contest results at some of the polling stations.

Bongo came to power in 2009 after the death of his father, who had ruled Gabon for more than four decades.