Gabon election: Parliament set alight amid street clashes
Supporters of Gabon opposition candidate Jean Ping have set the national assembly on fire after President Ali Bongo was declared winner of Saturday’s presidential election.
Police were using tear gas and water cannon to try to quell street protests.
Mr Bongo secured a second seven-year term with 49.8% of the vote to Mr Ping’s 48.2 %, a margin of 5,594 votes.
Mr Ping disputes the result. His camp has said figures from the president’s stronghold showed a 99% turnout.
In 2009, Mr Bongo took over from his father, who came to power in 1967.
Witnesses said flames and smoke could been seen rising from the national assembly building in Gabon’s capital, Libreville.
Security forces fired tear gas to disperse supporters of Mr Ping who were also trying to access the electoral commission (Cenap) headquarters.
Blanche Simonny, a Jean Ping supporter and member of the civil society group Ca Suffit Comme Ca (Enough is Enough), told BBC Focus on Africa that thousands of people had gathered at the opposition headquarters before starting the march to the commission.
She said smoke was billowing from burnt tyres left on the streets.
There was no independent statement from Cenap, after Interior Minister Pacome Moubelet-Boubeya announced the results.
Delegates representing the opposition on the commission walked out of the vote count and refused to sign papers validating Mr Bongo’s victory, according to a BBC Afrique reporter in Libreville.
Before entering politics Mr Ping was a renowned career diplomat who served as the chairman of the African Union Commission.
Is a Gabonese diplomat and politician who was the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union from 2008 to 2012. He was previously the Foreign Minister of Gabon from 1999 to 2008 and served as President of the United Nations General Assembly from 2004 to 2005.
The son of Cheng Zhiping from Wenzhou, and a Gabonese mother, Jean Ping was born in Omboué, Etimbwé Department, Ogooué-Maritime Province. Cheng immigrated to Gabon in the 1930s as a trader and married the daughter of a local tribal chief. The villagers initially called Jean Ping the “son of Ping.” In demonstrating respect to his wife’s Christian beliefs, Cheng took his son to get baptized when he was a month old and named him “Jean”. Cheng also attained substantial wealth through his many successful business enterprises in his newly adopted country. He sold china, wood, and seafood, and he also ran a bakery. Because of his good relationship with the locals, Cheng was elected to the local assembly three times.
Ping claims to have inherited his frugality, industry, and honesty from his father. Ping holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Paris.
The former head of the African Union Commission declared himself the winner of a presidential poll held this weekend, calling on his rival, incumbent president Ali Bongo, to “acknowledge his defeat.” Ping’s statement is based on unofficial tallies. Official results are expected Aug. 30.
The election that could bring about the end to almost 50 years of rule by the Bongo family has been marked by questions about parentage and background. Critics have accused Bongo of being a Nigerian war orphan, adopted by his father, the late president Omar Bongo, and thus not Gabonese. Yet, few have paid attention to Ping’s mixed background.
Ping’s father, Cheng Zhiping, left his hometown of Wenzhou in southeastern China for France in the 1920s where he took up work in a Peugeot bicycle factory, according to Ping. Cheng later moved to Gabon’s Fernan-Vaz region, along the country’s Atlantic coast, and worked as a forestry operator. He met and married Ping’s mother, Germaine Anina, and Ping was born and raised in Gabon. He adopted part of his father’s name as his surname.
this story caught my eye..then we dig a deeper and its all there in black and white..
the opposition leader..ping..is ex UNGA head, AU chairman and hes also chinese..a globalist servant for decades..
“The election that could bring about the end to almost 50 years of rule by the Bongo family has been marked by questions about parentage and background. Critics have accused Bongo of being a Nigerian war orphan, adopted by his father, the late president Omar Bongo, and thus not Gabonese. Yet, few have paid attention to Ping’s mixed background.”
keep a watch on this one..i bet ping ends up running gabon..