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Gabon rebels will hold free elections in 2 years

The Interim Prime Minister proposes to introduce a 24-month deadline for the transition to “reasonable” elections before announcing more precise deadlines, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).

In an interview with AFP, Raymond Ndong Sima called the transition period determined by the military rulers a “reasonable objective.”

It’s good to set off with a reasonable objective by saying: we have the desire to see the process come to an end in 24 months so we can go back to elections.

The Prime Minister also noted that the duration of the designated period may change. The rebels, led by General Brice Oligui Nguema, the leader of the August coup, appointed Ndong Sima as head of the transitional government last week.

The government in Gabon changed on August 30, almost immediately after Ali Bongo Ondimba was declared the winner of the presidential election. The army and the opposition, accusing the authorities of rigging the elections, carried out a coup.

The new Prime Minister promised to return democracy with the help of elections that would take place after a transitional period, the duration of which he named only tentatively.

Ndong Sima, 68, a former prime minister under Bongo from 2012 to 2014, received an economics degree in France. He ran as a presidential candidate in 2016 and 2023. His appointment as prime minister of the rebel government was announced on television on Thursday by decree of Oligui.

General Oligui promised to change the constitution and the electoral code. According to the new document, which will be adopted during the referendum, not a single member of the interim government will be able to run in the next presidential elections.

Prime Minister Ndong Sima said that the new documents would establish the duration of the transition period and who would be “to stand (for election).”

The principle announced” by the military is that there is no longer either an opposition nor a majority, so we are taking people in all political families. It would not, however, be good for the military to stand, so they can be impartial and objective arbiters of the elections.

The new government announced on Saturday includes military officers and former ministers from ousted President Ali Bongo Ondimba. Main opposition figures will not participate in the state governance.


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