The junta-installed Prime Minister of Gabon, Raymond Ndong Sima, has hinted that his regime is planning a “national dialogue” next year that will usher in a new constitution.
Ndong Sima who has been in office in the oil-rich country one month after the democratically elected President Ali Bongo Odimba was ousted, told a press conference on Wednesday that an appeal for contributions towards the dialogue would go out from next week, an AFP report says.
Ndong Sima had last week defended the forceful power takeover before the United Nations as a “lesser evil”, saying the intervention prevented bloodshed, the report added.
Coup leader General Brice Oligui Nguema, who was swiftly sworn in as transitional president, has promised to hand back the country to civilian rule with elections after a transitional period, but did not give a time frame.
Ndong Sima said contributory ideas would be sought from “all categories” of the population.
The process will be a prelude to organising a national dialogue, which he said he hoped would take place between April and June.
“Everyone has something to say” including on overhauling the political system and institutions, he said.
People need to be given “between 45 and 60 days” to make a “serious” contribution, he added.
A summary will be compiled from the contributions which will then provide the working basis for the national dialogue, Ndong Sima said.
The next step would be to hold a “constituent assembly” to draw up a draft constitution, helater told AFP by telephone.
The aim would be to translate “all the points discussed during the dialogue into consitutional text”, he added.
He said he hoped to put forward a summary document at the end of January.
It is for the national dialogue to decide on a timetable for the transition from military to civilian power, he said.
“We can’t go on forever being in a transition period under military command,” said Ndong Sima, a French-educated economist who had earlier served as prime minister under Bongo.