EU calls for more transparency in Gabon elections

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union said on Thursday that the official announcement of election results in Gabon had plunged the African country into a "deep crisis" and said that verification of each polling station result was required. "It is important that all actors reject violence and call for calm. Any protest must be peaceful means to prevent the burning of the country; the police must react responsibly," EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement. "Confidence in the election results can only be restored by a transparent verification polling station by polling station," she continued. Demonstrators have clashed with police and set part of the parliament building on fire as anger boiled over among opposition supporters at President Ali Bongo's re-election in polls that his main rival, Jean Ping, claimed to have won. The European Union, Mogherini said, was in contact with its partners, particularly in Africa, to promote a peaceful solution to the crisis. (Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Toby Chopra)