Raymond Ndong Sima

Gabon: a 24-month transition envisaged after the coup d’état

The transitional Prime Minister of Gabon, Raymond Ndong Sima, announced a transition period of 24 months after the coup d’état which overthrew President Ali Bongo Ondimba on August 30, 2023. This period, deemed “reasonable” by Sima, aims to prepare for free elections, but prohibits members of the provisional government from running.

Gabon entered a period of political transition following the coup d’état in late August 2023, which ousted President Ali Bongo Ondimba. The transitional Prime Minister, Raymond Ndong Sima, declared for the first time a deadline for this transition, suggesting that a period of 24 months would be “reasonable”. This decision aims to create the necessary conditions for free and fair elections.

However, it is important to note that the transition charter, put in place by the military authorities who took control, prohibits members of the provisional government from running in the next elections. This means that Raymond Ndong Sima himself will not be able to participate in these elections. General Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema, president of the transition, is however exempt from this restriction, opening the way to a possible candidacy.

The transitional Prime Minister stressed the importance of including representatives of all political families in the transition process. It foresees that these political actors will participate in the drafting of fundamental texts and will discuss the duration of the transition, as well as the people authorized to run in the elections. However, Raymond Ndong Sima expressed his concerns about a possible candidacy of soldiers, insisting on their role as impartial arbiters in the electoral process.