(Adds dropped word in paragraph 9 for number of French people
* EU says result for Bongo stronghold anomalous
* AU to send delegation, likely led by Chad President
* France suggests recount, says nationals missing
* Calm prevails in capital Libreville
By Gerauds Wilfried Obangome
LIBREVILLE, Sept 6 Gabon's re-elected President
Ali Bongo came under international scrutiny on Tuesday, as a
European Union mission questioned the validity of his narrow
win, France recommended a recount and the African Union said it
would send mediators.
At least six people have died in riots in Libreville and
other cities since the result of the Aug. 27 election was
announced last Wednesday, giving Bongo victory by around 5,000
Authorities appeared to have restored order in the capital
on Tuesday, as election monitors focused on the southeastern
Haut-Ogooue province, a Bongo stronghold where industry ministry
figures showed he won 95.46 percent of the vote on a 99.9
Opposition leader Jean Ping says the election was stolen,
with the number of votes cast in Haut-Ogooue inflated to give
victory to Bongo, whose family has ruled the central African
oil-producing country for almost half a century.
The EU observer mission said the number of non-voters and
blank or invalid ballots were at variance with the reported
participation rate, adding turnout in other regions was around
"The integrity of the provisional results for this province
is consequently put into question," said Mariya Gabriel, the
EU's chief observer of the polls.
The African Union said it would send a delegation to Gabon
likely to be led by Chad's Idriss Deby, one of Africa's
longest-ruling presidents and the current chair of the
"I expect the high-level delegation to be dispatched very
soon," African Union spokesman Jacob Enoh Eben said.
Manuel Valls, prime minister of former colonial power
France, suggested a recount would be wise, and urged authorities
to help locate around 15 of its nationals - out of a local
French community of around 14,000 - it says are missing.
Gabon's opposition has yet to say if it will appeal through
the Constitutional Court for a recount through, while the
government has so far dismissed all calls to publish more
detailed results, prompting the justice minister to resign.
Ping, a former diplomat and African Union Commission
chairman, said he welcomed all efforts at mediation, adding: "We
want democracy and peace to triumph."
Calling for calm, he told French broadcaster France24 that
50 to 100 people had been killed since last week, figures that
could not be independently verified.
A main opposition complaint is that Gabon's oil wealth has
not been shared fairly among its 1.8 million population but,
largely ignoring an earlier strike call by Ping, shopkeepers and
government staff returned to work in Libreville on Tuesday.
Parliament also resumed, with lawmakers gathering sombrely
in the Senate building after part of the National Assembly
complex was badly damaged during last week's protests.
France has in the past intervened in its former African
colonies, such as when it helped oust Cote d'Ivoire's
then-President Laurent Gbagbo in 2011 after he refused to
concede defeat in an election.
But it has ruled out intervention in Gabon where it has a
Up to 1,100 people were arrested last week during the
unrest, according to the interior minister, although many have
since been released.
U.N. human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said on
Tuesday the organisation was following the situation in Gabon
with "increased concern".
(Additional reporting by Aaron Maasho in Addis Ababa and
Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva; Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg;
editing by John Stonestreet)