General Brice Nguema, cousin of ousted President Ali Bongo, was sworn in on Monday and expressed his commitment to providing the Gabonese people with the opportunity to hope under his regime, while also promising a free and fair election.
During his speech following his swearing-in, Mr. Nguema emphasized that his government consists of individuals with vast experience. “With this new government, comprised of seasoned professionals, we will create an environment where everyone can embrace hope,” stated Mr. Nguema. He further pledged to protect the achievements of democracy, ensure transparent elections, and grant amnesty to prisoners of conscience.
However, he did not specify a timeline for when his regime would reinstate civilian rule in Gabon.
Last Friday, Mr. Nguema previously expressed that he was in no rush to reinstate civilian rule in Gabon.
Although the Gabonese people celebrated the coup led by Nguema, with many seeing it as the end of the Bongos dynasty’s 56-year reign, the opposition party candidate has claimed victory in the August 26th election, dismissing the coup as a “family affair.”
In an exclusive interview with Le Monde, Albert Ondo Ossa, the candidate for Alternance 2023, stated, “The electoral process must be brought to its conclusion, and the results must be announced so that I can become the legitimate president and then the legal president once they are validated by the Constitutional Court.”
At the age of 48, Mr. Nguema led the mutineers who toppled Mr. Bongo’s government on Wednesday, shortly after the president was declared the winner of the controversial election, which would have secured his third term in office.
Mr. Nguema had been an active member of the Gabonese military, which had perpetuated the Bongos’ dynasty. He served as an aide-de-camp to a commander in former President Omar Bongo’s Republican Guard until 2009.
Following his assumption of power, Mr. Bongo sent Mr. Nguema on diplomatic missions to Morocco and Senegal. In 2019, he replaced the president’s step-brother as the head of Gabon’s Republican Guard, an elite force responsible for protecting Mr. Bongo, his family, and other prominent figures.