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GABON – 2023 presidential election: Ali Bongo announces his candidacy for the next presidential election

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Gabon’s President Ali Bongo, who has been in power for several weeks, has chosen Nkok’s Special Investment Zone (ZIS) to announce that he will be seeking a third term as head of Gabon this Sunday, July 09. The presidential election will be held in the country on 26 August 2023.

I am officially announcing today that I am a candidate in the presidential election, he launched in front of a crowd of supporters in a speech, broadcast live on his Facebook page, in the Special Economic Zone (ZES) of Nkok, near the capital Libreville. The 64-year-old Head of State was first elected in 2009 on the death of his father Omar Bongo Ondimba, who had ruled the country for more than 41 years, and then narrowly re-elected in 2016.

His candidacy will have to be confirmed by a Nomination Convention scheduled for Monday by his all-powerful Gabonese Democratic Party (CEO), which largely dominates Parliament and is a major favourite in the parliamentary and municipal elections that will take place on the same day as the presidential election on 26 August.

Mr. Bongo’s formal nomination by the CEO on Monday will be a formality, with the party begging him for more than a year to run for a third term. Official nominations close on Tuesday.

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CENTRAL AFRICA

DR CONGO – Elections: Candidate Moïse Katumbi’s Party Leader Dies on Eastern Trip

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An official of the party of the opponent Moïse Katumbi was killed and several others wounded Tuesday, November 28, 2023 in Kindu, in eastern DRC, where the opponent arrived as part of his campaign for the presidential election of December 20. This is the first major incident since the beginning of this election campaign, which is taking place in a tense political climate.

The climate was already tense long before the landing of Moïse Katumbi’s plane, the authorities having forbidden the opponent to hold his meeting at the Central Tribune of the main artery of the city of Kindu.

Upon arrival, Moïse Katumbi and his allies, including former Prime Minister Matata Ponyo and Seth Kikuni were cheered and followed by the crowd in the streets before the rally relocated elsewhere. It was at the approach of the governor’s residence that the opponent and his supporters were attacked with stone throws by young supposed to belong to the presidential party.
“Stoned”, according to his party
In the exchanges and the crowd, at the head of the procession, Dido Kakisingi, youth leader of the Ensemble for the Republic party of Moïse Katumbi in Kindu, was hit by a projectile. On the ground, he was beaten violently to the point of dying, according to his party, claiming that he was simply “stoned”.

But for the mayor of Kindu, the latter fell from a vehicle of the procession before being stamped. The police intervened, firing live ammunition. In the process, several others were injured.

These incidents did not stop the campaign procession of Moïse Katumbi who held his rally to ask the people to vote.

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CENTRAL AFRICA

GABON – Raymond Ndong Sima, opponent of Ali Bongo, appointed Transitional Prime Minister

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The President of the transition in Gabon, General Brice Oligui Nguema, appointed Thursday, September 07, 2023 the Transitional Prime Minister Raymond Ndong Sima, an economist and opponent of the president, Ali Bongo, overthrown by the military a week ago, according to a decree read on state television.

Raymond Ndong Sima, 68, had been Prime Minister of Ali Bongo from 2012 to 2014, but he had moved away from power. He regularly accused the power of Ali Bongo of bad governance, until he stood against the head of state at the presidential elections of 2016 and 2023. This year, he joined the Alternance 2023 platform after running and had therefore withdrawn his candidacy to give way to a consensual candidate, Albert Ondo Ossa.

Finally on Wednesday, September 7, Raymond Ndong Sima slammed the door of the coalition, declaring that the situation was «confused for several days» within the group. So he was free from any party because he is an independent candidate. It is not surprising that the junta chose him.

Raymond Ndong Sima is an economist from the north of the country. He completed part of his studies in France before joining the Gabonese Ministry of Economy. Member of the presidential party, the Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG), he finally won a portfolio in 2009, becoming Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.

Break with the CEO in 2015
Two years later, he also won a seat as an MP. Raymond Ndong Sima is known for his lively temperament. He did not hesitate to criticize the CEO, which led to a break in 2015, when he moved to the opposition. Since then, he has been a virulent critic of Ali Bongo’s regime.

In Gabon, General Brice Oligui Nguema, who led the coup of August 30 against a barely proclaimed re-elected Ali Bongo, was sworn in Monday, September 4 as President of a transition period, the duration of which he did not set, and at the end of which he promised “free elections”. On Monday, he also announced the formation of a transitional government including personalities from all political stripes.

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CENTRAL AFRICA

GABON – A general takes the reins of Libreville City Hall

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Following the coup of 30 August 2023, the military junta led by General Brice Clotaire Oligui announced the dissolution of the country’s government institutions. As part of this transition, a new provisional government will soon be appointed based on information received on September 7, 2023.

It is in this perspective that Brigadier General Judes Ibrahim Rapontchombo was appointed as the new head of the Gabonese capital, replacing the former mayor Christine Mba Ndutume, appointed by presidential decree in July 2021.

General Rapontchombo, previously military governor in 2020, has the mission to restore order within an institution shaken in recent years by many financial scandals.

It should be noted that Brigadier General Judes Ibrahim Rapontchombo will be supported in this mission by the former chief of the military prytanee, Commissioner-Colonel Gaude Stive Okoumba, who will assume the role of financial director. This team of soldiers has already begun a new chapter in the management of the Libreville City Hall, by carrying out a first control within the financial management of the City Hall.

As a reminder, 64 years old and in power for 14 years, Ali Bongo Odimba was deposed during a putsch conducted without bloodshed, less than an hour after his camp had proclaimed his re-election to the presidency in a vote described as fraudulent by the putschists. The coup was led by General Oligui, who gathered behind him all the army and police corps, and rallied almost all the parties of the former opposition and part of the formerThe majority as well as a massive surge of a population thanking him for having “liberated” 55 years of “Bongo dynasty” in power.

The military authorities promised to “hand over power to civilians” at the end of a transition whose duration has not been fixed, after having adopted “by referendum”, a new Constitution that will have to be drawn up with the participation of “all the living forces of the Nation” and which will lead to “free and transparent elections”.

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