- Unrest has broke out in Gabon following the government announcement today, declaring the son of the late dictator, the winner from the Sunday presidential election.
Ali Bongo was declared the winner with a 42 percent vote after the nation and some opposition members staged a vigil wait for the final results to be announced.
Reports from Libreville said opposition supporters clashed with police immediately after the declaration and a French diplomatic mission was torched.
The anger has also reportedly extended outside Gabon's borders, whereby in Dakar, Senegal, Gabonese students are said to forced past the guard at the Gabonese Embassy and thei entry was followed by a loud explosion and breaking glass.
Opposition members have accused the countries’s authorities of election fraud, saying the votes were rigged in favour of Mr Bongo.
Main opposition contenders, Andre Mba Obame and Pierre Mamboundou, were said to have collected over 25 percent each, of the votes.
The unrest has erupted despite numerous calls by regional and international bodies for calm and respect for democracy in the country.
Mr Ali Bongo, aged 50, had already declared victory after the Sunday polls. He was holding the post of defense minister before he stood for the ruling party as the presidential candidate.
Political observers have raised fears of more violence and unrest in Gabon after much anticipation that the weekend election would usher a new administration and an end to the Bongo family rule in the country.
Several opposition members, including the leaders have reportedly been beaten and injured during the clashes in which police fired tear gas to disperse the angry crowds.
The Gabonese elections follows the death of Omar Bongo who died at the age of 73 at the Spanish clinic after ruling the country for 42 years.
Gabon is one of Africa's largest oil producer and wood exporter, although a majority of its 1.4 million people live in poverty.
Meanwhile, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged restraint by all parties to avoid an escalation of tensions in Gabon, following reports of disturbances in some parts of the country.
Mr Ban, who took note of the preliminary results announced by the country’s electoral authorities, urged “calm and restraint” by all concerned so that tensions do not escalate.
“He calls on the Gabonese political leaders to refrain from any action which could jeopardise the peaceful conclusion of the electoral process,” his spokesperson said in a statement.
“The Secretary-General urges all the presidential candidates and their supporters to resolve any electoral grievances through legal and institutional channels, and calls for any such complaints to be reviewed and adjudicated in a fair and transparent manner,” the statement added.
In a message earlier this week, the Secretary general implored all Gabonese to continue supporting the democratic process and to “ensure the will of the people is respected.”
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