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Gabon: Nomination of former president of Constitutional court sparks controversy

Marie-Madeleine Mborantsuo, Court President, the former president of Gabon's Constitutional Court on Sept. 23, 2016 in Libreville.   -  
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Cleared / AP


Can a figure who is considered by some Gabonese as part of the Bongo era system hold a key position, be it honorary?

The issue has divided the central African nation for days.

Marie Madeleine Mborantsuo who was ousted in the aftermath of the August 2023 coup will serve as the “honorary president of the Constitutional Court”.

The position entitles the holder to privileges including medical insurance and a company car.

Coup leader General Brice Oligui Ngema approved the nomination of the one who presided over Gabon's apex court for over 30 years. 

Mborantsuo was first named president of the Constitutional Court when it was created in 1991.

The presidency's spokesperson defended her nomination on state TV.

Telesphore Obame Ngomo argued that the decree signed by the transitional president is a legal disposition in the organic law of the Constitutional Court.

According to Ngomo, Marie Madeleine Mborantsuo "deserves the nomination as long as the law exists."

For decades, the constitutional court upheld results of contested presidential polls in Gabon.

The ruling Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions deposed President Ali Bongo and promised to hold elections in augist 2025.

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