Coup in Gabon: Military Seizes Power Amidst Outcry Over President Bongo's Third Term Victory
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Coup in Gabon: Military Seizes Power Amidst Outcry Over President Bongo’s Third Term Victory

Army personnel made a televised announcement asserting that they had taken control in Gabon, following President Ali Bongo’s re-election for a third term in the Central African country. These officers declared the nullification of the election results from Saturday, an election that the opposition had criticized as being tainted by fraudulent practices.

Twelve soldiers proclaimed the dissolution of all republican institutions, stating their intention to safeguard peace by terminating the existing regime. 

One of the soldiers conveyed this message on the Gabon 24 television channel. Referring to the country’s reckless and erratic governance, causing an ongoing decline in social unity that poses a potential threat of chaos, the soldier highlighted their rationale. Identifying as part of the Committee of Transition and Restoration of Institutions (CTRI), these soldiers additionally communicated the decision to shut the nation’s borders.

Bongo’s initial declaration as the president

The Gabonese Election Centre (CGE) had previously declared President Bongo as the victor of the election, securing 64.27% of the total votes, on Wednesday. Michel Bonda, the leader of CGE, reported that Albert Ossa, Bongo’s primary rival, secured the second position with 30.77% of the votes. Bongo’s camp dismissed Ossa’s claims of electoral misconduct and inconsistencies.

Subsequently, concerns over potential turmoil have intensified in Gabon due to the recent presidential and parliamentary elections. To maintain order, a curfew spanning across the nation during nighttime hours was enforced, and internet access was suspended after the polling.

Bongo’s family long time tenure

The removal of Bongo from power would mark the conclusion of his family’s 53-year tenure. He assumed the presidency following the passing of his father, Omar, in 2009. At the age of 64, Bongo experienced a stroke in 2018, which incapacitated him for nearly a year and prompted demands for his resignation.

In 2019, an attempted coup took place against Bongo. The military personnel who orchestrated the unsuccessful uprising were subsequently incarcerated.

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