Africa's disputed elections

2016-09-02 21:45


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Paris - Clashes in Gabon have left five people dead since incumbent Ali Bongo was declared the winner of a disputed presidential vote.

Bongo's victory over challenger Jean Ping by a razor-thin margin of just under 6 000 votes in a weekend poll sparked fighting in Libreville and Port-Gentil, the country's economic capital. Ping claims the vote was rigged.

Africa has known similar electoral unrest in the past, including in Gabon.

Here are some of the other violent elections that have dogged the continent:

- Ivory Coast -

After a five-month-standoff, incumbent Laurent Gbagbo was detained on April 11, 2011 by forces backing rival Alassane Ouattara, who was recognised internationally as the winner of Ivory Coast's October 2010 presidential election.

Gbagbo had refused to stand down and some 3 000 people died in the post-election unrest. He is currently on trial before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity in relation to the clashes.

- Kenya -

Violence sparked by disputed results in Kenya's December 27 2007 presidential poll won by Mwai Kibaki claimed some 1 300 lives and left about 600,000 displaced according to documents filed before the ICC.

Elections in 1992 and 1997 also led to violence and related inter-ethnic clashes in 1992 in the western Rift Valley killed hundreds of people.

- Nigeria -

Unrest that claimed more than 800 lives flared in Nigeria after a disputed April 2011 presidential election in which President Goodluck Jonathan was declared victor. Defeated opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari alleged rigging.

Elections in April 2007 elections were also criticised by the opposition and observers and led to violence that officially left 39 people dead.

The European Union believes at least 200 died.

- Togo -

In 2005, Faure Gnassingbe won a disputed presidential election after the death of his father Gnassingbe Eyadema. Between 400 and 500 people were killed in related clashes.

- Zimbabwe -

In the March 29, 2008 general election, the ZANU-PF party of long-serving President Robert Mugabe was defeated by the Movement for Democratic Change of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai's supporters then became targets of violence in which 180 died according to Amnesty International. Tsvangirai withdrew from the run-off presidential election against Mugabe, citing violence against his supporters.

The March 2002 elections won by Mugabe were also marred by violence.

- Democratic Republic of Congo -

In late 2011, general elections that were hastily organised and marred by allegations of fraud were accompanied by violence.

A UN report that was denounced by authorities in Kinshasa spoke of around 30 deaths and accused government forces of serious human rights violations.

Incumbent head of state Joseph Kabila officially won re-election, but challenger Etienne Tshisekedi rejected the results.

The country has been mired in crisis ever since.

- Madagascar -

The island nation was paralyzed by protests during a political crisis in 2001-2002. Incumbent Didier Ratsiraka challeged the proclaimed victory of Marc Ravalomanana in the first round of a presidential poll and subsequent fighting killed several dozen people.

- Gabon -

In August 2009, the last declared victory by Ali Bongo also sparked clashes that officially left three people dead. Opposition parties say at least 15 people were killed.

Read more on:    ali bongo  |  gabon 2016 election  |  central africa

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