abonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba, who suffered a stroke on October 24, spoke for the first time since the beginning of his convalescence in a video recorded in Rabat, Morocco, and broadcast on Monday. December in the evening by the Gabonese media and social networks.

“It’s true that I went through a difficult time, as it happens sometimes in life,” he said during his New Year’s greetings. In this video, Ali Bongo appears from the front, his face marked by a strabismus. His speech is fluid, his head and hands move slightly. “Today, as you can see, I’m getting better and getting ready to meet you soon,” Bongo added.

“This speech is proof that President Ali Bongo is fully recovered. His health problems are now behind him, “ said presidential spokesman Ike Ngouoni. The Gabonese president has been recovering in Morocco since the end of November. In two months, only one photo of the Head of State and two videos, without sound, shot in Rabat, had been broadcast. These images did not reassure many Gabonese about the physical and intellectual capacities of Ali Bongo.

Internal tensions

The opposition and civil society had asked the Constitutional Court to declare a vacancy of power, in accordance with the Constitution. The vacancy was not declared by the Constitutional Court, which transferred certain powers from the President to the Prime Minister and the Vice President. The absence of Ali Bongo has also fostered internal tensions within Gabonese power, according to Gabonese political analysts.

On Monday evening, the opponent Jean Ping, former presidential candidate of 2016, who claims to be the elected president “with more than 65% of votes” , expressed his wishes to the Gabonese. “Gabon and Gabonese must come out of a dictatorship that loots and kills,” he said in a video shared on social networks. “We can not afford more luxury to wait, nor to think of a providential solution […] The moment has finally arrived to realize the promises of our founding fathers, to make possible the dreams of our children and to find the fullness of our sovereignty, “ he added.

In mid-December, Jean Ping called for a “confrontation” with the regime of Ali Bongo, before organizing a march gathering about 500 Gabonese.


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