Gabon: Ali Bongo quits government

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Ali Bongo Ondimba has been discharged of his government functions. The presidential hopeful for the Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG, ruling party) ahead of the presidential election slated for August 30, is no longer Defence Minister.

Ali Bongo Ondimba, presidential candidate for the Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG, ruling party) ahead of the presidential polls scheduled for August 30, was dischared of his state functions last Saturday and is no longer at the head of the Defence Ministry.

This came after a slight cabinet reshuffle on August 15. The Ministry of Defence is now under the supervision of Jean François Ngoungou. Mr. Ngoungou has also been head of the Ministry of Interior since the establishment of the latest government cabinet in July this year, following the death of Omar Bongo Ondimba.

On an equal footing

Norbert Diramba, who also runs the Ministry of Territorial Planning, now heads the Department of Technical Education, which has been without a minister since August 6, after the resignation of Peter Claver Maganga Moussavou, one of 22 presidential candidates.

The interim Gabonese head of State, Rogombé Francine Rose, explained that she had discharged Ali Bongo Ondimba of his official functions in order to place all presidential candidates on equal footing.

It may be recalled that the opposition as well as 11 of the presidential candidates had called for the departure of Ali Bongo Ondimba from the government. August 7, a protest march to force the late President’s son (Ali Bongo) to resign from his government functions was violently repressed by the police.

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