Gabon’s New PM Sets the Clock: Fresh Elections in 2 Years


Gabon’s new interim Prime Minister, Raymond Ndong Sima, has announced the need for fresh elections in the country within the next two years, following a recent military coup that ousted President Ali Bongo. While the junta responsible for the coup has promised a free and fair election, they have not yet provided a specific timetable. Mr. Sima, speaking to the BBC, stated that he had published a document suggesting elections be held within two years, with the exact schedule to be determined in the coming days.

Gabon’s new interim Prime Minister, Raymond Ndong Sima

Raymond Ndong Sima assumed the role of interim prime minister after General Brice Oligui Nguema, the leader of the coup against President Bongo, became Gabon’s transitional president. President Bongo had been in power since 2009, succeeding his father, who had ruled for over 40 years, and had strong ties to France, Gabon’s former colonial power. The coup has drawn condemnation from both African nations and Western countries, including France.

While some civilians have welcomed the change in leadership, questions remain about whether this transition will bring a genuine departure from the past, as General Nguema had spent much of his career within President Bongo’s inner circle. Mr. Sima emphasized that the key change since the coup was the military’s refusal to suppress the population and a commitment to restoring democratic institutions.

He also acknowledged that transitioning away from the previous regime would take time, considering the long-standing political influence of the ruling family. Despite calls for legal action against former President Bongo on corruption allegations, Mr. Sima ruled out pursuing a case against him, stating that it might not be viable at this moment.

France had conducted a seven-year investigation into the Bongo family’s assets, revealing properties and luxury cars. However, the investigation was dropped in 2017, with the family vehemently denying all allegations. President Bongo, who was under house arrest, was released and is permitted to leave the country for medical check-ups, as he had previously received treatment in Morocco after suffering a stroke

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