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Gabon: Business mogul founds party to challenge Bongo rule

Gabon: Business mogul founds party to challenge Bongo rule

Gabon

A former board member of Gabon’s ruling party, Alfred Nguia Banda, has founded a new political party that is set to contest against his former party in elections set for later this year.

The business magnate is expected to give further details about the party called the Socialist and Republican Movement in the coming days.

His party hopes to amend the constitution so as to allow a strictly two-term presidential system.

We will support a politician who has to take into consideration our ideas.

Banda meanwhile has reassured public opinion that he will not stand for the upcoming election.

“All political actors will have this document which will spark discussions. Since I am not a candidate, our ideas will have to be taken into consideration. We will support a politician who has to take into consideration our ideas,” the founder said.

Bongo was endorsed last month by party officials after his candidacy was announced earlier in February.

Bongo won a disputed election in 2009 after the death of his father Omar Bongo and is now nearing the end of his first seven-year mandate. There are no presidential term limits in Gabon.

“Bongo Fils”, or Bongo’s son as he known locally, has sought to reform and diversify the former French colony’s oil-reliant economy and increase public investment, although some of his ambitious programmes have been hit by falling commodity prices

Agencies