The Nation Newspaper
The military on Wednesday ousted Ali Bongo Ondimba from the presidency following the results of the 2023 Gabonese general election.
He has ruled Gabon for 14 years while his father Albert-Bernard Bongo ruled for 42-years.
Here are things to know about ousted Gabon President Ali Bongo:
- Ali Bongo Ondimba was born Alain Bernard Bongo in Brazzaville on February 9, 1959.
- He is the son of Albert-Bernard Bongo (later Omar Bongo Ondimba) who was president of Gabon from 1967 until his death in 2009.
- His mum, Josephine Kama (later Patience Dabany) was 18 years old at the time of his birth.
- He was conceived 18 months before Albert-Bernard’s marriage and there have been rumours of him being Bongo’s adopted son, a claim that he dismisses.
- Bongo was educated at a private school in Neuilly, France, and then studied law at the Sorbonne.
- In 2018, he received an honorary doctorate of law degree from Wuhan University in China.
- In 1977, he released a funk album, A Brand New Man, produced by Charles Bobbit.
- After graduating from his law course, he entered politics, joining the Gabonese Democratic Party in 1981.
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- He was elected to the PDG Central Committee at the party’s Third Extraordinary Congress in March 1983.
- Subsequently, he was his father’s Personal Representative to the PDG and in that capacity he entered the PDG Political Bureau in 1984.
- He was then elected to the Political Bureau at an ordinary party congress in September 1986.
- He is the third president of Gabon from 2009 to 2023.
- Bongo is a member of the Gabonese Democratic Party.
- During his father’s presidency, he was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1989 to 1991, represented Bongoville as a Deputy in the National Assembly from 1991 to 1999, and was Minister of Defense from 1999 to 2009.
- After his father’s death, he won the 2009 Gabonese presidential election.
- He was reelected in 2016, in elections marred by numerous irregularities, arrests, human rights violations and post-election protests and violence.
- Bongo held the post of High Personal Representative of the President of the Republic from 1987 to 1989.
- The Gabonese Democratic Party, of which Bongo is a member, has ruled the country continuously since independence from France in 1960, including 41 years under Bongo’s father, Omar.
- Allegations of electoral fraud and irregularities immediately emerged from opposition parties and independent observers, casting a shadow of doubt over the legitimacy of the election results
- Bongo was declared the winner on 29 August.
- Albert Ondo Ossa, who came second in the elections, alleged electoral irregularities.
- He had already claimed victory and urged Bongo to facilitate a peaceful transfer of power based on his own purported vote count.
- The election result was annulled following the coup d’état.