Gabon’s newly appointed Prime Minister, Raymond Ndong Sima, revealed the military government’s commitment to organizing free and fair elections within the next two years.
Ndong Sima was appointed last week as head of the transitional government by General Brice Oligui Nguema, who led the August coup d’état against President Ali Bongo Ondimba.
Ndong Sima, 68, is a Paris-educated economist who served as prime minister under Bongo from 2012 to 2014 before becoming a critic and competing against him in the 2016 and 2023 presidential campaigns.
Oligui issued a proclamation on Thursday (September 7, 2023) announcing his appointment, which was broadcast on state television.
Electoral Reform Code
Individuals in this interim administration will not be permitted to compete in the upcoming presidential election in accordance with the provisions of the transitional constitution.
The general also promised the introduction of a new electoral code and the execution of a new constitution via a nationwide vote.
A two-year transition to civilian government is a “reasonable objective” implying according to the PM, for restoring stability to the nation.
“It’s good to set off with a reasonable objective by saying: we have the desire to see the process come to an end in 24 months so we can go back to elections,” said Raymond Ndong Sima, prime minister during the transition. That period could end up being slightly longer or shorter, he added.
“The principle announced is that there is no longer either an opposition or a majority, so we are taking people in all political families.”
“It would not however be good for the military to stand, so they can be impartial and objective arbiters of the elections,” he said.
On August 30, Brice Oligui Nguema, the leader of the Republican Guard, took control of the country of Central Africa. The junta has promised to adopt a new election code and bring a proposed new constitution to a vote.
Mays Mouissi was named as the nation’s economics minister by the military government on Saturday.