Tags: AF | Gabon | Election

Gabon Opposition Says Presidential Guard Attacks HQ, 1 Dead

Gabon Opposition Says Presidential Guard Attacks HQ, 1 Dead

Thursday, 01 September 2016 05:48 AM

LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AP) — Gabon's presidential guard attacked the opposition party headquarters overnight, killing one person and injuring at least 20, opposition representatives said Thursday following protests against the re-election of this central African country's president.

President Ali Bongo Ondimba beat opposition candidate Jean Ping by a slim margin, setting the stage for unrest.

Bongo won with 49.8 percent of the vote, while Ping had 48.2 percent. The constitutional court must finalize provisional results, which came a day later than expected

Around 1 a.m. Thursday, soldiers in green berets identifying them as the presidential guard shot live rounds during an attack on Ping's opposition headquarters, injuring at least 20 people, according to Paul Marie Gondjout, an opposition electoral representative who was there.

Ping's campaign director, Rene Ndemezo'o Obiang, said one person was killed. Ping was not in the building.

A resident said government forces also attacked the RTN opposition radio and television station.

State television reported that Cabinet ministers will meet Thursday morning.

Before the attack on the opposition headquarters, police fired tear gas at hundreds of opposition demonstrators in the capital, Libreville, who responded by setting fire to cars and debris in front of the National Assembly. Flames and smoke rose in the night sky.

Witnesses said demonstrators in several other districts vandalized a mall, looted a bank and burned buildings, including one belonging to the vice prime minister.

Looting and clashes also followed Bongo's previous election win in 2009, when he came to power after the death of his father, longtime ruler Omar Bongo.

European Union observers criticized what they called a "lack of transparency," and the EU called for electoral officials to publish results from all polling stations.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged political leaders and their supporters "to refrain from further acts that could undermine the peace and stability of the country." He also called on security forces to exercise restraint.

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Gabon's presidential guard attacked the opposition party headquarters overnight, killing one person and injuring at least 20, opposition representatives said Thursday following protests against the re-election of this central African country's president.President Ali Bongo...
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Thursday, 01 September 2016 05:48 AM
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