The twelve men also announced on Wednesday on the Gabon 24 channel that they would cancel last weekend’s presidential and parliamentary elections and dissolve “all the institutions of the republic.” The borders of the Central African country remained closed until further notice.
The military justified the step with the “irresponsible, unpredictable governance” that has led to a “continuous decline in social cohesion” that threatens to plunge the country “into chaos”. They stated that they spoke for the “Committee on Transition and Institutional Restoration”. Journalists from the AFP news agency reported shots in the capital, Libreville.
The government could not immediately be reached for comment. Presidential and parliamentary elections took place in Gabon on Saturday. Only a short time before, the electoral commission had declared long-serving head of state Ali Bongo Ondimba the winner of the presidential election. Bongo received 64.27 percent of the votes in the vote that took place on Saturday. Bongo’s family has ruled the oil-rich country of 2.3 million people for 56 years. For the first time, the President, Parliament and the municipal level were elected at the same time.