Africa’s Next President for Life? Bongo Eyes Another Election Win in Gabon

Gabon's president, Ali Bongo, at the Elysee Palace, Paris, France, Sept. 14, 2015 (SIPA photo by Christian Liewig via AP).
Gabon's president, Ali Bongo, at the Elysee Palace, Paris, France, Sept. 14, 2015 (SIPA photo by Christian Liewig via AP).
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Gabon, a small but oil-rich country on the Atlantic coast of Central Africa that is home to around 1.7 million people, will vote for president on Aug. 27. The main candidates are incumbent President Ali Bongo Ondimba and former African Union Chairman Jean Ping. A victory for Bongo, whose father, Omar Bongo Ondimba, was president of Gabon for more than 40 years, would reinforce patterns of dynastic succession in small African countries that are ostensibly democracies, but in reality autocracies. Omar Bongo ruled Gabon from 1967 upon the death of his predecessor, Leon M’ba, the country’s first president after its […]

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