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Gabon poll: Street clashes after Ali Bongo beats Jean Ping

Supporters of Gabon opposition candidate Jean Ping have clashed with security forces after President Ali Bongo was declared the winner of Saturday’s presidential election.

Gabonese soldiers take position as supporters of opposition leader Jean Ping protest in front of security forces blocking a demonstration trying to reach the electoral commission in Libreville (AFP Photo/Marco Longari)
Gabonese soldiers take position as supporters of opposition leader Jean Ping protest in front of security forces blocking a demonstration trying to reach the electoral commission in Libreville (AFP Photo/Marco Longari)

Mr Bongo secured 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 disputes the result. His camp has said figures from the president’s stronghold showed a 99% turnout.

In 2009, Mr Bongo took over from his father, who came to power in 1967.

A supporter of Gabonese opposition leader Jean Ping prays in front of security forces blocking a demonstration trying to reach the electoral commission in Libreville A supporter of Gabonese opposition leader Jean Ping prays in front of security forces blocking a demonstration trying to reach the electoral commission in Libreville (AFP Photo/Marco Longari)
A supporter of Gabonese opposition leader Jean Ping prays in front of security forces blocking a demonstration trying to reach the electoral commission in Libreville (AFP Photo/Marco Longari)

Security forces fired teargas to disperse supporters of Mr Ping who were trying to access the electoral commission (Cenap) headquarters in Gabon’s capital, Libreville.

Blanche Simonny, a Jean Ping supporter and member of the civil society group Ca Suffit Comme Ca (Enough is Enough), told BBC Focus on Africa that thousands of people had gathered at the opposition headquarters before starting the march to the commission.

She said smoke was billowing from burnt tyres left on the streets.

'Thousands of people, including young people are taking part in the protest
‘Thousands of people, including young people are taking part in the protest
Before entering politics Mr Ping was a renowned career diplomat
Before entering politics Mr Ping was a renowned career diplomat
Mr Ping supporters were chanting " Ali must go"
Mr Ping supporters were chanting ” Ali must go”

 

 

There was no independent statement from Cenap, after Interior Minister Pacome Moubelet-Boubeya announced the results.

Delegates representing the opposition on the commission walked out of the vote count and refused to sign papers validating Mr Bongo’s victory, according to a BBC Afrique reporter in Libreville.

Before entering politics Mr Ping was a renowned career diplomat who served as the chairman of the African Union Commission. BBC

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