Gabon’s President Ali Bongo has been declared the winner of the 2016 presidential election, according to official results released by the electoral commission to Reuters on Wednesday.

Mr. Bongo, who has served as the Central African country’s president since 2009, secured 49.8 percent of the vote, giving the incumbent a slight edge over his main opponent, Jean Ping, who won 48.23 percent. Minister of the Interior Pacome Moubelet Boubeya confirmed the results on Wednesday.

Mr. Ping, a half-Chinese former diplomat, declared that he had won the vote and demanded a recount in one province, Haut-Ogooué, where Mr. Bongo had reportedly won 95.5 percent of the vote. The province reported a voter turnout of 99.93 percent, which raised suspicion compared to the national voter turnout of 59.46 percent.

The electoral commission, which had planned to announce the results on Tuesday at 5 PM local time, consequently delayed the announcement.

At the time of reporting, Mr. Ping has yet to concede the election. An election commission member belonging to Mr. Ping’s party, Paul Marie Gondjour, told Al-Jazeera that the vote had been “stolen” and that his party would not accept the official results.

After results were announced, protests broke out in parts of Libreville, the nation’s capital. An Al-Jazeera journalist in Libreville reported that Mr. Ping told his supporters to not accept the official results and urged them to “defend their votes.”

One AFP journalist reported that protesters shouting, “Ali must go!” attempted to storm the offices of the electoral commission after the results were announced. Security officers responded by using tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the protesters.

The government had on Tuesday deployed the military and police to Libreville in anticipation of unrest. It would be recalled that violence erupted during and after the 2009 contest, which was conducted after the death of Mr. Bongo’s father, Omar Bongo, who had ruled Gabon for 42 years.

President Ali Bongo of Gabon

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