[ 2016-09-01 ]
Gabon Parliament Set On Fire After Disputed Elections
Violence has broken out in the Gabonese capital
Libreville after President Ali Bongo was declared
winner of Saturday's presidential election.
Opposition candidate Jean Ping said two people had
been killed and many injured after security forces
launched an attack on his party's headquarters.
The government said it was targeting "armed
criminals" who had earlier set the parliament on
Mr Ping disputes the result, which gave President
Bongo a narrow victory.
"They attacked around 01:00 (00:00 GMT). It is the
republican guard. They were bombarding with
helicopters and then they attacked on the ground,"
Mr Ping - who was not at the party headquarters
himself - said earlier.
He called for international assistance to protect
the population. The election result was announced
on Wednesday afternoon and gave Mr Bongo a second
seven-year term with 49.8% of the vote to Mr
Ping's 48.2 %, a margin of 5,594 votes. Mr Ping
said the election was fraudulent and "everybody
knows" he won.
Protesters took to the streets shortly after the
announcement. They set fire to the parliament
building and clashed with riot police. Mr Ping's
camp has said figures from the president's
stronghold showed a 99% turnout. He has called for
voting figures from each polling station to made
The US and EU have also called for the results to
be made public while UN Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon has urged calm. In 2009, Mr Bongo took
over from his father, who came to power in 1967.
Before entering politics Mr Ping was a career
diplomat who served as the chairman of the African
Source - BBC
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