After President Ali Bongo secured a third term in Gabon’s re-election, army officers took to national television to announce that they had seized power.
These officers stated that they were nullifying the results of Saturday’s election, which the opposition had labeled as “fraudulent.”
According to reports, twelve soldiers appeared on television to announce the dissolution of “all the institutions of the republic.”
“We have decided to defend peace by ending the current regime,” one of the soldiers said on the Gabonese television channel Gabon 24.
According to the soldier, “irresponsible, unpredictable governance has resulted in a continuing deterioration in social cohesion that risks leading the country into chaos.”
The Gabonese Election Centre (CGE) declared Bongo as the winner on Wednesday, with 64.27% of the votes.
His main challenger, Albert Ossa, came in second with 30.77%, according to CGE head Michel Bonda. Bongo’s team has dismissed Ossa’s accusations of electoral fraud and irregularities.
The aftermath of the presidential and parliamentary elections has seen increased tensions in Gabon, with concerns of potential unrest. If Bongo were to be overthrown, it would put an end to his family’s 53-year rule.
He became president in 2009 following the death of his father, Omar.
Bongo, aged 64, suffered a stroke in 2018, which caused him to be inactive for almost a year, leading to calls for his resignation.