A group of military leaders announced that they had cancelled Saturday’s election results and taken control of Gabon in an address on national television on Wednesday.
« We, defence and security forces reunited within the Committee for the Transition and the Restoration of the Institutions – CTRI – on behalf of the Gabonese people and as guarantor of the protection of institutions, have decided to defend the peace by ending the regime in place, » one of the group stated.
« For this purpose, the general elections of August 28, 2023, as well as its falsified results, are cancelled, borders are closed until further notice, all the institutions of the republic are dissolved, » he continued.
On Saturday, President Ali Bongo – whose family has held power for over 50 years – was declared the winner with nearly two-thirds of the votes.
The military group blamed the incumbent administration for ‘irresponsible and unpredictable governance, which results in continuous degradation of social cohesion, threatening to lead the country into chaos’.
The country’s opposition have claimed Bongo’s victory was fraudulent, and the military leaders backed those assertions.
« We have to admit that the organisation of electoral deadlines, so-called general elections, from August 26, 2023, did not fulfil the conditions for a transparent, credible and inclusive ballot so hoped for by Gabonese men and women, » the junta’s representative continued.
Gunfire was also reported in the capital, Libreville, by local media sources. It marks the eighth coup in Africa’s former French colonies in just three years. The country is one of the continent’s major oil producers.