Clashes broke in the capital of Gabon yesterday following election results in which the incumbent president Ali Bongo was declared the winner.
Opposition supporters took to the streets in protest and the National Assembly was also set ablaze.
Two people are reported dead and several injured after they were shot by security forces.
Bongo won 49.80% of the vote against 48.23% for his rival, Jean Ping,
The opposition argues that votes in the last province to be counted (Haut Ogooué) were skewed in favour of bongo and are demanding for a recount.
According to the electoral body, Haut Ogooué, which happens to be bongo’s hometown, had a 99% voter turnout with 95% of the voters voting for him.
“The citizens of Gabon peacefully and respectfully exercised their right to freely and fairly choose our country’s next president. The current president, Ali Bongo, did not approve of their choice, so he substituted his will for theirs,” said Ping.
“Results’ like Ali Bongo’s are the hallmarks of dictators and tyrants who refuse to give up power – not the cornerstones of democracies, nations, and peoples who respect fairness and the rule of law.” He said.
Yesterday night police raided the opposition’s headquarters.
The result gives the president a further seven years in power in the country of 1.8 million people. Bongo took power in 2009 on the death of his father, who had ruled for 42 years.