“The organisation of the general elections of 26 August 2023 did not meet the conditions for a transparent, credible and inclusive ballot so much hoped for by the people of Gabon,” Military leaders in Gabon Say while explaining why they ousted their President.
The military had announced a coup in the west African country, deposing President Ali Bongo, who was declared winner of Saturday’s election.
Bongo, who came to power after his father’s death in 2009, won a third term in an election which opposition argued was heavily flawed.
In a statement issued after the coup, the putschists said the lack of good governance and delivery of the dividends of democracy also contributed to their action.
Read the full statement below:
“Our beautiful country, Gabon, has always been a haven of peace. Today, the country is going through a serious institutional, political, economic and social crisis.
“We are therefore forced to admit that the organisation of the general elections of 26 August 2023 did not meet the conditions for a transparent, credible and inclusive ballot so much hoped for by the people of Gabon.
“Added to this is irresponsible and unpredictable governance, resulting in a continuing deterioration in social cohesion, with the risk of leading the country into chaos.
“Today, 30 August 2023, we — the defence and security forces, gathered as the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions (CTRI) on behalf of the people of Gabon and as guarantors of the institutions’ protection — have decided to defend peace by putting an end to the current regime. The borders are closed until further notice.
“All the institutions of the Republic are dissolved: the government, the Senate, the National Assembly, the Constitutional Court, the Economic, Social and Environmental Council and the Gabonese Elections Centre.
“We call for calm and serenity from the public, the communities of sister countries settled in Gabon, and the Gabonese diaspora. We reaffirm our commitment to respecting Gabon’s commitments to the national and international community.
“People of Gabon, we are finally on the road to happiness. May God and the spirits of our ancestors bless Gabon. Honour and loyalty to our homeland.