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

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

Thursday, May 10, 2018

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 able to fulfill the tasks assigned to it,” Marie-Madeleine Mborantsuo, the president of the Constitutional Court, said in a statement. ...

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