Gabon’s New Prime Minister Pledges Free Elections within Two Years

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Raymond Ndong Sima, Gabon’s recently appointed Prime Minister, has announced the military government’s commitment to organizing free elections within the next two years. This assurance comes in the wake of his appointment by General Brice Oligui Nguema, who led the August coup d’état against President Ali Bongo Ondimba.

A Paris-educated economist, Ndong Sima previously served as prime minister under Bongo from 2012 to 2014. However, he later turned into a critic, contesting against him in the 2016 and 2023 presidential campaigns.

As per the transitional constitution’s directives, individuals in this interim government will not be eligible to run for the upcoming presidential election. General Oligui has also committed to enacting a new constitution through a nationwide referendum and introducing an updated electoral code.

Prime Minister Ndong Sima views a two-year transition to civilian rule as a “reasonable objective” for restoring stability to the country. He emphasized a non-partisan approach, stating that there will no longer be a defined opposition or majority, and individuals from all political backgrounds will be included.

Furthermore, he emphasized the importance of military impartiality in the electoral process, asserting that the military’s role should be that of impartial and objective arbiters, rather than standing as contenders.

Background: Brice Oligui Nguema, the head of the Republican Guard, assumed power in Gabon on August 30. The junta has committed to subjecting a proposed new constitution to a referendum and implementing a revised electoral code. On Saturday, the military authority appointed a new cabinet, with Mays Mouissi appointed as the country’s economy minister.


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