Gabon’s government has submitted plans for a timetable ahead of presidential elections to the political parties in the country, officials said Thursday.
Gabon’s Interior Ministry has drawn up a plan to revise the electoral rolls in the country between July 4 and July 14, with a further period for corrections to be made before the lists are put to the National Electoral Commission, on July 28.
Interior Minister Jean-François Ndongou met politicians Wednesday to discuss this timetable with them. Gabon is still in mourning for President Omar Bongo Ondimba, who was Africa’s longest-serving head of state when he died last month after ruling the oil-rich nation for 41 years. A political transition began when Senate speaker Rose Francine Rogombe was sworn in as interim president July 10, two days after Bongo’s death in a Spanish private clinic was announced.
In principle, elections are due within 45 days of the swearing in of such an interim leader, but politicians across the board have agreed that this period isn’t long enough. Decisions on prolonging the transition are in the hands of the Constitutional Court and no date has yet been set. However, Rogombe Thursday spoke of extending the transition period by 60 days during an interview she gave to Radio France Internationale from Sirte in Libya, where she is attending an African Union summit.
Prime Minister Jean Eyeghe Ndong has recently indicated that he would be a candidate, while lawmaker and former government minister Daniel Ona Ondo has openly placed himself in the running. Other likely candidates include the late Bongo’s son, Ali Ben Bongo Ondimba, who is minister of defense, and the former minister of mines, oil and hydrocarbons Casimir Oye Mba.