July 14, 2024

Gabon’s military leaders say they plan to hold a general election in August 2025.

This follows pressure from the international community to announce a timetable for the return to civilian rule.

Gen Brice Oligui Nguema seized power in August from his cousin, Ali Bongo, vowing to rescue the country from a “severe institutional” crisis.

The central African nation had been ruled by the Bongo family for 55 years.

Although members of the interim government cannot stand in the upcoming elections, the transitional charter does not bar Gen Oligui Nguema from doing so. It is not yet clear whether he intends to.

Announcing the plans on Monday, Gabon’s junta said the proposed timetable was not final and would need approval from the public during town hall-style meetings next April.

A new constitution is to be presented in October next year and adopted by the end of that year in a referendum.

Gabon’s transitional leaders have made moves aimed at rebuilding trust in the government, including arresting those accused of embezzlement of state funds, forgery and other crimes.

First Lady Sylvia Bongo and her son Noureddin Bongo Valentin have both been charged with corruption, but analysts say the extended Bongo family and its allies still retain positions of power.

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