Gabon Military Leader Promises Return To Democracy Without Timeline

Gabon's Military Leader Commits to the Transition to Democracy, Offering Assurances of a Return to Civilian Rule, Yet Remains Unclear on the Specific Timeline for This Momentous Shift in Governance.

Gabon’s new military leader has pledged to return the country to democracy, but has refused to provide a timeline for fresh elections.

General Brice Oligui Nguema said the country’s state institutions would be made more democratic and their suspension was only “temporary”.

But the opposition coalition says the military shows no signs of handing power back to a civilian government.


The deposed president, Ali Bongo, was placed under house arrest.

Army officers appeared on state TV in the early hours of Wednesday to say they had seized control, ending the Bongo family’s 55-year hold on power in the central African state.

They said they had annulled the results of Saturday’s presidential election, in which Mr Bongo was declared winner but which the opposition said was fraudulent.

In a televised address on Friday evening, Gen. Nguema said the military would move “quickly but surely” to avoid elections that “repeat the same mistakes” by keeping the same people in power.

“Going as quickly as possible does not mean organising ad-hoc elections where we will end up with the same errors,” he said.

Gabon’s main opposition group, Alternance 2023, which says it is the rightful winner of Saturday’s election, urged the international community on Friday to encourage a return to civilian rule.

“We were happy that Ali Bongo was overthrown but … we hope that the international community will stand up in favour of the republic and the democratic order in Gabon by asking the military to give back the power to the civilians,” Alexandra Pangha, a spokesperson for Alternance 2023 leader Albert Ondo Ossa, told the BBC.


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