A Court Ruling to Dismantle Gabon’s Government Is an Unexpected Gift for Bongo

Gabon’s president, Ali Bongo, is sworn in for a second term, Libreville, Gabon, Sept. 27, 2016 (AP photo by Jeremi Mba).
Gabon’s president, Ali Bongo, is sworn in for a second term, Libreville, Gabon, Sept. 27, 2016 (AP photo by Jeremi Mba).

Last week, a significant number of Gabon’s top politicians suddenly found themselves out of work. On April 30, the country’s Constitutional Court delivered a surprise ruling that dissolved the National Assembly, the lower house of Gabon’s parliament, and called for the government to step down. Prime Minister Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet complied the next day, issuing a letter of resignation on behalf of himself and his ministers. At first glance, the ruling appeared to be a straightforward rebuke of the government’s failure to hold legislative elections, which are now nearly 18 months overdue. “It is clear that the government has not been […]

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