Brice Oligui Nguema took the oath of office as interim president of Gabon after
leading a coup that toppled the ruling dynasty.
promised “free, transparent and credible elections” to restore
civilian rule but did not specify a timeframe.
- The coup
was defended by Oligui, who said it saved Gabon from bloodshed and criticised
international organisations for condemning it.
Brice Oligui Nguema, who led a coup last week that toppled Gabon’s 55-year-old
ruling dynasty, took the oath of office as interim president on Monday,
promising “free, transparent and credible elections” to restore
civilian rule but without giving a timeframe.
vowed to amnesty political prisoners, in a speech in which he insisted the coup
had saved Gabon from bloodshed after elections that were “obviously loaded.”
head of the elite Republican Guard, last Wednesday led officers to detain
President Ali Bongo Ondimba, scion of a family that had ruled the oil-rich
central African nation since 1967.
came just moments after Bongo, 64, was proclaimed victor in presidential
elections – a result branded a fraud by the opposition.
In a speech
after taking the oath of office, Oligui said the promised elections would be
the stepping stone to “handing power back to the civilians,” although
he did not specify any date.
He said he
was seeking the participation of all of Gabon’s “core groups” to
draft a new constitution, which “will be adopted by referendum.”
wearing the red ceremonial uniform of the Republican Guard, also said a new
government would be named “in a few days” comprising
“experienced” and “seasoned” people.
He said he
would instruct the future government “to consider ways of amnestying
prisoners of conscience” and “facilitating the return of all
exiles” from abroad.
‘Surprised’ by condemnation
detaining Bongo, the coup leaders on Wednesday said they had dissolved the
nation’s institutions, cancelled the election results and temporarily closed
feel the freedom, joy and above all the hope of a better future,” said
Lucrece Mengue, 28, who was among thousands of people gathered outside the
his speech strongly defended the coup, saying the military had acted to save
lives following “an electoral process that was obviously loaded.”
Gabon’s new strongman General Brice Oligui Nguema speaks as he is inaugurated as Gabon’s interim President, in Libreville on 4 September 2023.
violence, clashes or loss of blood, the Committee for Transition and
Restoration of Institutions changed the regime which for years had usurped the
powers of the institutions of the public, flouting democratic rules,” he
said, referring to the name given to the junta.
South African anti-apartheid hero Desmond Tutu, he said: “If you are
neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the
He hit out
at “international organisations,” which he did not name, for
criticising the military takeover.
Mali, Guinea, Sudan, Burkina Faso and Niger in the ranks of African countries
that have undergone coups in the last three years – a trend that has sounded
alarm bells in Africa and beyond.
We are greatly surprised to hear certain international organisations condemn the act taken by soldiers who were simply upholding their oath to the flag – to save their country at the risk of their lives.
Western countries and organisations have attacked the takeover, while
acknowledging that it is different to others on the continent due to concerns
over the credibility of the vote itself.
Source link : https://www.news24.com/news24/africa/news/watch-gabon-new-leader-vows-free-elections-but-gives-no-date-20230904
Publish date : 2023-09-04 17:38:39