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Riot police patrolled the Awendje district of the oceanside city early on Saturday, the stronghold of defeated opposition candidate Pierre Mamboundou, after hundreds of his supporters smashed up shop fronts and a fuel station overnight.
Mamboundou and fellow opposition candidate Zacharie Myboto appealed to the central African country’s constitutional court after President Omar Bongo won a new seven-year term in the Nov. 27 polls. Their appeal was rejected late on Thursday.
Bongo — who has ruled Gabon since 1967, making him Africa’s longest-serving leader — took 79.2 percent of the vote according to official results.
Bongo’s opponents tried to tap into popular discontent over poverty and unemployment in the former French colony, where oil accounts for 80 percent of exports, but struggled to match the incumbent’s big-spending election campaign.
International observers said the polls went smoothly and reported no cases of fraud, but Mamboundou and Myboto said they were riddled with irregularities, including ballot-stuffing and votes cast in the name of dead people.
The government banned demonstrations when rioting broke out after the results were announced and said the security forces would shoot without warning to break up any protests.
The opposition has said five people were killed in the days following the announcement of the results. The security forces have said one person died.
Pour Reuters © Copyright Infosplusgabon