President Ali Bongo had been widely expected to announce his bid for a new term at celebrations to mark the 55th anniversary of the ruling Gabon Democratic Party in Libreville on Sunday.
Instead, the 64-year-old discussed a stroke he suffered in 2018 which kept him out of the country for months.
Bongo told his party faithful that he was determined to 'continue the work' he started in 2009.
"Before declaring this, certain arrangements have to be made within the party and outside it, so when the time comes, he will declare it officially if this is the case," said Bonga Roger, a member of the party.
Bongo took over from his father Omar in 2009, continuing his family's rule over the oil-rich central African country.
During his hospitalization for a stroke in Morocco, Bongo survived a coup mounted by junior army officers in January of 2019.