Earlier, the opposition alleged that the authorities had violated the law during the elections and refused to accept the results
A group of senior officers in Gabon’s armed forces has declared that it had seized power and canceled the just-announced results of the presidential and parliamentary elections, Reuters reported, citing a national TV broadcast.
According to the news agency, the rebels are representatives of the security services, the national and the presidential guard, the army, the police. The coup came almost immediately after Gabon’s state election commission announced that the country’s incumbent president, Ali Bongo Ondimba, had been re-elected for a third term with 64.2% of the vote. The opposition alleged election fraud and disagreed with the results.
After the polling stations were closed, a curfew was imposed and Internet access was blocked. According to a government spokesman, this was done “to prevent violence, calls for it and the dissemination of false information.” Earlier, Gabon’s external borders were closed. Interior Minister Lambert Noel Mata said that there were forces in the country capable of undermining stability and peace. The French TV channel France 24 and radio station RFI have also been suspended.
About Gabon, incumbent president
Ali Bongo Ondimba, 64, is the son of Gabon’s second president, Omar Bongo Ondimba, who has been in power from 1967 to 2009. Ali Bongo Ondimba was first elected president in 2009 after the death of his father. He then received 41.7% of the vote. Ondimba was re-elected in 2016 with 49.8% of the vote, while his opposition rival received 48.2%. According to experts, he managed to implement only 13 of the 105 provisions listed in his 2016 election program.
Gabon is one of the most oil-rich countries in Africa (70.5% of export revenues). It is among the continent’s leaders in terms of per capita income ($7,540 per year as of 2022; ranks third after the Seychelles and Mauritius). At the same time, the economic policies of the incumbent government have failed to reduce poverty, which affected 32.9% of the population in 2022 (according to the World Bank). Despite the positive GDP growth, this indicator is below the regional average (+4.5%).