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      Gabon citizens are furious Ali Bongo is still president after disputed election

      Gabon citizens are furious Ali Bongo is still president after disputed election Gabon citizens are furious Ali Bongo is still president after disputed election Gabon citizens are furious Ali Bongo is still president after disputed election
      Supporters of Gabonese opposition leader Jean Ping face security forces (unseen) blocking the demonstration trying to reach the electoral commission in Libreville on August 31, 2016. (Marco Longari//AFP/Getty Images)?

      Africa

      Gabon citizens are furious Ali Bongo is still president after disputed election

      By Tamara Khandaker

      Gabon's opposition leader is calling for all voting results to be made public following a day of intense protest over an election — which many believe was rigged — that kept President Ali Bongo in power.

      Clashes erupted in the capital Libreville, with protesters setting the National Assembly building on fire on Wednesday night and riots breaking out in at least nine neighborhoods in the city on Thursday morning, according to Reuters.

      There are also reports that more than 1,000 people were arrested overnight.

      Bongo, whose family has ruled the country since 1967, was handed a slim victory on Wednesday afternoon, keeping him in power for another seven years.

      Opposition leader Jean Ping told Reuters two people were killed when presidential guard soldiers and police attacked his party's headquarters overnight, and he called on foreign governments to help protect Gabon's population from what he called a "rogue state."

      "Everybody knows that I won the election," said Ping, a former foreign minister and African Union chairman. "The (Bongo) family are repeating the same scenario for almost half a century. The opposition can win the elections but they have never had access to power."

      The US, the European Union, and France have all expressed concern over the transparency of the elections in the former French colony, and called for the results of each individual polling station to be made public.

      According to the official results, which were announced after a day-long delay, Bongo won 49.8 percent of votes, barely surpassing Ping, who garnered 48.23 of the vote. While turnout nationwide was 59.6 percent, 99.3 percent of voters Bongo's home region of Haut-Ogooué reportedly came out.

      Bongo took office in 2009, succeeding his father Omar Bongo, who died after 42 years in power. Ping spent much of his career working in the late president's administration and has two children with his daughter.

      Topics: africa, election, gabon, ali bongo, protest, violence, libreville, politics

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