Gabon’s main opposition leader, Jean Ping, called for a general strike to protest the outcome of Aug. 27 presidential elections, which he says were rigged in favor of President Ali Bongo.
“We have to resist whichever way possible,” Ping said in a statement in his website Monday. “We will not participate in the economy that benefits this tyrant.” Ping lost by less than 6,000 votes to Bongo, whose father ruled Gabon for 42 years. Last week’s elections were the closest-ever in the history of the central African oil producer.
Gabon’s Interior Ministry said in an earlier statement that shops were reopening in the capital, Libreville, and showed photos on its Twitter account of Bongo visiting injured policemen in hospital. The statement followed a security crackdown that paralyzed the country’s two cities and left at least three protesters dead and hundreds in detention.