Gabon: Ali Bongo Ondimba moves a step closer to succeeding Omar Bongo Ondimba

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After more than two weeks of meetings and negotiations behind the scenes, the political bureau of the Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG, ruling party) last Wednesday invested Ali Bongo Ondimba as its presidential candidate. The elections will be held on August 30, 2009.

According to an official communiqué released after Wednesday’s crucial meeting to elect the Democratic Party of Gabon’s candidate, “the leadership of the party, conscious of their heavy historical responsibility towards militants, all (Gabonese) nationals and the international community, unanimously decided by consensus to invest Ali Bongo Ondimba” as the PDG’s presidential candidate for the next elections.

The Political Bureau of the ruling party welcomed the work of the various bodies that worked to achieve this consensus, which ”took place in a serene and responsible atmosphere” the statement read. It also praised the meeting’s “respect” for each participant’s “freedom of expression.”

In addition, the highest echelons of the PDG expressed their appreciation to fellow activist candidates who respected the dignity of the party’s selection process, and who also contributed to the consolidation of the party’s unity.

PDG party members have, since the election of their candidate, called on party activists to gather around Ali Bongo Ondimba, in order to win the August 30 elections.

The PDG had initially registered nominations for some ten influential candidates, including the current Minister of Mines, Casimir Oyé Mba and Prime Minister of Gabon, Jean Eyeghe Ndong, to represent the country in the next elections.

Ali Bongo Ondimba is widely expected to succeed his father, the late Omar Bongo who passed away early June this year (2009) after spending 41 years at the helm of affairs in the central African nation.

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