By Enyichukwu Enemanna
The leader of Gabon’s military junta that ousted President Ali Bongo last week, General Brice Nguema has been sworn in as the country’s Interim President.
He toppled the democratically elected Bongo minutes after the electoral commission pronounced him winner of a presidential election, handing Bongo a third term in office.
A cheering crowd of civilians stormed the inauguration venue, indicating a form of support for the military junta.
Ali Bongo’s father, Omar, was in power for 41 years before he died in 2009 and was succeeded by his son.
However, there are concerns Gen Nguema’s rule will be a continuation of the 55-year Bongo dynasty.
The general spent most of his career in the Bongo’s inner circle and is thought to be Ali Bongo’s cousin.
A military parade was held at Monday’s inauguration, which took place at the presidential palace in Gabon’s capital, Libreville.
Sympathisers of the new military leadership attended the ceremony. Former ministers from the ousted government also showed up, but were booed by a crowd of junta sympathisers.
Gabon is the sixth Francophone country to fall under military rule in the last three years as former colonial power France struggles to maintain its influence on the continent.
The African Union had suspended Gabon following the coup, which has been condemned by the ECOWAS, UN and France.
General Nguema has repeatedly said his regime will not be in a hurry to hold election and transit power to civilian authorities in a bid to avoid mistakes of the past where one family held on to power for decades.