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Gabon

Yearbook 2009

Gabon. In February, French authorities blocked Gabon's President Omar Bongo's accounts in French banks, after Bongo refused to obey an order from a Bordeaux court to repay the equivalent of just over SEK 4 million that he should have received in the bribe of a French businessman. He had been jailed in Gabon after a business dispute with Bongo but bought himself free. In 2008, a French court found that the payment to Bongo was illegal. French prosecutors decided in May to investigate Bongo's real estate dealings in France, after Gabonese journalists in an open letter on the Internet accused the president of buying dozens of properties for money he incriminated himself through corruption. The journalists were prosecuted for resignation after publication.

2009 Gabon

In May, Bongo was hospitalized in Spain, where he died in early June. At his death, Omar Bongo was the African head of state who had been in power for a long time. He took office in 1967 and managed to retain power even after the introduction of multi-party systems and on paper free elections through a combination of threats, bribery and skillful balancing between ethnic and regional contradictions.

According to countryaah, Senate President Rose Francine Rogombé temporarily took over the presidential post pending re-election. There was great outrage when the ruling Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG) nominated the deceased president's son Ali Ben Bongo as his presidential candidate. Prime Minister Jean Eyeghe Ndong resigned to run for office as an independent candidate, and another four ministers who wanted to stand for election were dismissed. Paul Biyoghé Mba was appointed new Prime Minister. Despite demands from the opposition for several months of suspension, the presidential election was held at the end of August.

Violent crows demanding the lives of several people erupted in several places in the country when Ali Ben Bongo was declared the winner. The anger was directed, among other things, at French interests, as the French state was accused of holding back the corrupt Bongo regime for decades. However, a nationwide protest strike was reported to have received limited support. Ali Ben Bongo took office in October. He retained Paul Biyoghé Mba as prime minister, and he presented a heavily slimmed down ministerial list with only 30 names.

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