The son of Gabon’s former president was declared the winner of the country’s presidential elections on Thursday, sparking violent protests in some parts of the West African nation.
Voters went to the polls Sunday to elect a successor to President Omar Bongo, who died in June after more than four decades in office. Bongo, 73, was Africa’s longest-serving ruler.
In a live announcement Thursday on Gabonese television, Interior Minister Jean Francois Ndongou said Ali Bongo received 41.73 percent of the votes in Sunday’s election, with former interior minister Andre Mba Obame getting 25.88 percent and main opposition leader Pierre Mamboundou winning 25.22 percent.
Opposition supporters protested the results outside the French consulate in the oil-rich city of Port-Gentil, on the country’s coast. A fire broke out at the consulate during the demonstrations, a French official told CNN. The official did not want his name to be used.
Some people were seriously injured in the blaze, the official said.
In his first address to the nation shortly after the results were announced, Ali Bongo, 50, promised to work to improve living conditions for all Gabonese by a redistribution of the country’s riches, according to Gabonese media reports.