By John Ikani
Gabon’s coup leader, General Brice Oligui Nguema on Sunday appointed members of a fresh national assembly and senate, paving the way for a transitional period leading up to promised elections of an undisclosed date.
The appointment comes more than a month after military and police leaders joined hands in executing a peaceful coup on August 30, garnering widespread support from politicians, civil society, and the general public.
The new administration says it is firmly committed to organizing fair elections and returning power to civilian authorities through a “national dialogue” at a date yet to be determined.
The military aims to see these elections happen between April and June 2024.
A spokesperson for the regime publicly announced the names of 98 newly appointed parliament members on national television.
The list includes figures from opposition parties and some who previously supported ousted President Ali Bongo Ondimba.
The military had already established a civilian government for the transition period, with Raymond Ndong Sima serving as the prime minister.
Sima had previously held the position before becoming a prominent opposition figure during Bongo’s rule.
The government will collaborate with a national transition council, consisting of army officers holding equivalent positions to the ministers.
During Bongo’s tenure, the parliament possessed legislative authority but was often reduced to endorsing the ruling party’s policies.
Ali Bongo, who took over after his father Omar’s death in 2009 following nearly 42 years in power, was swiftly overthrown shortly after being declared the victor in the disputed August elections.
For many, this development symbolized a liberation from the Bongo dynasty, which had left a small segment of the oil-rich nation’s 2.3 million population living in opulence while a third struggled beneath the poverty line.