Gabon’s military rulers set two-year timeline for transition to democracy
The new military leaders of Gabon have announced a two-year transitional period before holding free and fair elections, following the coup that ousted president Ali Bongo Ondimba last month.
Transitional government appointed
General Brice Oligui Nguema, who led the coup on August 30, has appointed Raymond Ndong Sima as the prime minister of the transitional government. Ndong Sima is a former prime minister under Bongo who later became an opposition leader and ran against him in the 2016 and 2023 presidential elections.
In an interview with AFP, Ndong Sima said that the two-year timeline was a “reasonable objective” and that it could be slightly adjusted depending on the progress of the transition.
He said that the transitional government had the desire to see the process come to an end in 24 months so that the country could return to democratic rule.
Coup sparked by disputed election
The coup took place shortly after Bongo was declared the winner of the presidential election on August 30, which was marred by allegations of fraud and irregularities by both the opposition and the army. Bongo had been in power since 2009, succeeding his father Omar Bongo who ruled Gabon for 42 years.
The army said that it intervened to “restore democracy” and “preserve the integrity of the nation” after Bongo’s victory, which was rejected by his main rival Jean Ping. Ping claimed that he had won the election and that Bongo had manipulated the results with the help of France, Gabon’s former colonial power.
The coup was condemned by several regional and international organizations, including the African Union, the United Nations, the European Union and France. They called for a peaceful resolution of the crisis and respect for the constitutional order.
However, some civil society groups and opposition parties in Gabon welcomed the coup and expressed their support for the transitional government. They said that they hoped that the military rulers would fulfill their promise of organizing credible elections and restoring democracy in Gabon.
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