After the presidential election and the proclamation of Ali Bongo's victory, a group of putschists announced on television the "end of the regime in place".
[Updated August 30, 2023 at 8:48 a.m.] The results of the presidential elections in Gabon were closely watched last night by the international community: experts feared that a new announcement of victory for Ali Bongo, who has led the country for 14 years , generates a violent reaction. In 2016, Ali Bongo had won the presidential election with only 5,500 votes in advance, demonstrators who denounced fraud had been harshly repressed by the police, killing nearly twenty people.
That night, a different scenario occurred: around 3:30 a.m., when the results had just been announced on television, giving Ali Bongo the winner with nearly two-thirds of the votes cast, a group of a dozen Gabonese soldiers appeared on the Gabon24 channel, channel of the presidency. These men then announced the cancellation of the elections, denouncing "truncated results". The soldiers considered that Ali Bongo had been leading for years "an irresponsible, unpredictable governance which results in a continuous deterioration of social cohesion risking to lead the country to chaos". "We, the defense and security forces, united within the Committee for the Transition and the Restoration of Institutions (CTRI), on behalf of the Gabonese people and guarantor of the protection of institutions, have decided to defend peace by putting an end to the regime in place," added the man reading the statement from the lectern.
“All the institutions of the Republic are dissolved, in particular the government, the Senate, the National Assembly, the Constitutional Court, the Economic, Social and Environmental Council, the Gabonese Election Center,” he added, continuing: "Gabonese people, it is finally our flight towards happiness. May God and the ghosts of our ancestors bless Gabon. Honor and fidelity to the fatherland."
The circumstances of this putsch should quickly become clear. For now, it seems established that the military belong to the Republican Guard or the regular army. Police officers also make up the group of perpetrators of the coup. The putschists also indicated that the country's borders were closed until the last order and called on the Gabonese "calm and serenity". They also assured their "attachment to the respect of Gabon's commitments to the international community".
Gabon has been ruled for decades by the Bongo family, Ali Bongo's father - Omar Bongo - took over the country in 1967.