By Ebitonye Akpodigha
The warring parties in Gabon have been urged to “exercise restraint and refrain from provocative rhetoric” that could further dip the country into messier crisis.
This appeal was made by the United Kingdom, which noted verdict of the Gabonese Constitutional Court confirming the victory of Ali Bongo Ondimba in last month’s Presidential election.
Mr Bongo’s main rival in the poll, Mr Jean Ping, rejected outcome of the election.
Shortly after the poll, violence erupted in Gabon and the warring parties have refused to back down.
But the UK, in a statement issued by the British High Commission in Yaoundé, Cameroon on Tuesday, urged the rivals to remain calm “in the interests of the stability of Gabon.”
“We welcome the decision to use legal channels to address the dispute,” the Commission added.
The UK said it notes the comments by the European Union’s Election Observation Mission to Gabon highlighting areas of concern and regretting that the Constitutional Court of Gabon “had been unable to satisfactorily rectify anomalies observed during the count.”
It urged “all sides to respect democratic norms and practices and emphasise the particular responsibility of the government to ensure transparency in order to create an environment of trust.”