Gabon opposition says presidential guard attacks HQ, 1 dead

Gabon's parliament building in the capital city was set ablaze as angry protestors clashed with police during a demonstration against the narrow victory of incumbent President Ali Bongo under controversial circumstances.

The election result, announced on Wednesday afternoon, gave Bongo a second seven-year term with 49.8 percent of the vote to Ping's 48.2 percent - a margin of 5,594 votes.

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Ping said two people had been killed as live shots were fired.

Between 500 to 600 people were arrested there, he said.

Security forces later surrounded the building, and remained there Thursday night, detaining more than a dozen members of the National Union opposition party inside, said party spokeswoman Sandrine Akere. "It is the republican guard", he said.

The post 'Two dead, 19 injured in Gabon crackdown' appeared first on Punch Newspapers. "We need assistance from the rest of the world to protect the population of Gabon from a clan of mercenaries, a rogue state", he said.

An EU observer mission criticised a "lack of transparency" among institutions running the election and said Bongo had benefited from preferential access to money and the media.

In Saturday's vote, turnout was 59.46 per cent nationwide but soared to 99.93 per cent in Haut-Ogooue province, the heartland of Mr Bongo's Teke ethnic group, and where the President won 95.5 per cent of votes.

The constitutional court now must finalize the electoral commission's provisional results.

"We've never seen results like these, even during the father's time."

Bongo took power in 2009 in a violence-marred election that followed the death of his father Omar Bongo, who had governed the oil-rich former French colony for 41 years.

In a statement, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the response by security forces "disproportionate" and he called on the government to "immediately restore communications, especially the Internet".

As Gabon descended into chaos, the European Union called for calm, former colonial power France urged "maximum restraint" and Amnesty International warned against "excessive force".

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