Gabon military leader says no rush for elections despite growing pressure

2023-09-02 23:27:56
Gabon military leader says no rush for elections despite growing pressure

Gabon's new military leaders have announced that there is no rush for elections despite mounting international pressure after the military takeover in the central African country.

In a televised address on Friday, General Brice Oligui Nguema said that he wanted to avoid rushing into elections that "repeat the same mistakes" by handing back power to the same people.

The junta would proceed "quickly but surely .... Going as quickly as possible does not mean organizing ad hoc elections, where we will end up with the same errors," he said.

Nguema seized power on Wednesday minutes after the results of the presidential election showed that President Ali Bongo had won a third term.

The African country's main opposition group, Alternance 2023, which says it is the rightful winner of the election, urged the international community on Friday to encourage the junta to hand power back to civilians.

Gabon's election commission said after the election that Bongo had been re-elected with 64 percent of the vote, while Ondo Ossa secured almost 31 percent. Ballot counting was done without independent observers amid an internet blackout.

Gabon's coup follows coups in Guinea, Chad, and Niger, plus two each in Mali and Burkina Faso since 2020.

In Niger, the coup ousted President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26.

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