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Gabon's Ali Bongo elected president, violence erupts


Ali Bongo, new president of Gabon and son of late President Omar Bongo Ondimba, delivers a speech to the media in Libreville, August 3, 2009.

Ali Bongo Ondimba, the presidential candidate from the ruling Gabonese Democratic Party, was declared the winner of the presidential election on Thursday. Opposition supporters went on riot in protest of the publication.

The French consulate in the western city of Port-Gentil was torched after the official results were announced. Demonstrators in support of Opposition candidate Pierre Mamboundou also stormed the Port-Gentil central prison setting free inmates.

The rampage followed a clash between Mamboundou's supporters and police in the capital Libreville on Wednesday night, when they assembled before the headquarters of the electoral commission awaiting the results of Sunday's polls. Police used tear gas to disperse the crowd.

The situation has been tense since Sunday with all the three major contenders claiming victory and with their supporters gathering in the city. A number of citizens have left Libreville in case of any riot.

The authorities have tightened security in Libreville, where soldiers were seen patrolling and offices and businesses shut down. The country closed its land and sea borders before kicking off the election.

According to the final results released by the Autonomous and Permanent National Electoral Commission, Ali Bongo garnered 41.73percent of the votes, followed by independent candidate Andre Mba Obame's 25.88 percent. Mamboundou secured only 25.22 percent.

Mamboundou vowed to reject the election results which he said were rigged.

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 Source : Xinhua  Editor: Ivy
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