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Gabon President Ali Bongo announces he will run for a third term

Gabon's President Ali Bongo Ondimba listens to French President Emmanuel Macron (not seen) during a bilateral meeting at Presidential Palace in Libreville, on March 1, 2023   -  
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Gabon's President Ali Bongo Ondimba, who has been in power for almost 14 years, announced on Sunday that he will stand for a third term in the presidential elections scheduled for August 26.

For the time being, Mr. Bongo is the clear favorite for the presidential election, as various opposition parties have failed to form a single coalition, with some twenty personalities having already announced their intention to run against the outgoing head of state.

"I am officially announcing today that I am a candidate" for the presidential election, he told a crowd of supporters in a speech broadcast live on his Facebook page at the Nkok Special Economic Zone (ZES), near the capital Libreville.

The 64-year-old head of state was first elected in 2009 on the death of his father Omar Bongo Ondimba, who had ruled the country for over 41 years and was narrowly re-elected in 2016.

His candidacy will have to be ratified by a special congress scheduled for Monday of his all-powerful Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG), which dominates parliament by a wide margin and is the clear favorite in the legislative and municipal elections to be held on the same day as the presidential election, August 26.

Mr. Bongo's formal investiture by the PDG on Monday will be a formality, as the party has been begging him to run for a third term for over a year.

Official candidatures close on Tuesday.

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