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Gabon: a brand new Prime Minister 8 months from the presidential election

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Gabonese Head of State Ali Bongo Ondimba selected certainly one of his loyal followers, Alain-Claude Bilie-By-Nze, as new Prime Minister on Monday, changing Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda, appointed Vice-President of the Republic.

It’s a heavyweight in Gabonese politics that Mr. Bongo joined eight months earlier than the presidential election.

Mr Bilie-By-Nze , 55, who has held a number of portfolios since 2006, was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Vitality and Water Assets within the outgoing authorities.

Ms. Ossouka Raponda , the primary feminine head of a Gabonese authorities, has been appointed vice-president, a place vacant since Could 2019, whose operate is to “help” the pinnacle of state and who has no position of interim within the occasion of an influence vacuum.

“By decree of the President of the Republic (…) is appointed Prime Minister, Head of Authorities, Mr Alain-Claude Bilie-By-Nze” , declared to the press the Secretary Common of the Presidency, Jean-Yves Teale .

READ ALSO: Gabon: Rose Christian Ossouka Raponda named first-ever female VP

A number of hours later, Mr. Bilie-By-Nze himself introduced the composition of his authorities: the earlier one renewed nearly identically for key and intermediate positions, however going from 38 to 45 members with the addition of seven deputy ministers.

Ms. Ossouka Raponda, 59, a former mayor of the capital Libreville and minister of defence , had been prime minister since July 2020.

Presidential and legislative elections are to be held in the summertime of 2023.

Ali Bongo was first elected in 2009 after the dying of his father Omar Bongo Ondimba , who had dominated this small oil-rich Central African state for greater than 41 years.

READ ALSO – Gabon’s PDG appeals to president Ondimba to seek re-election

Since a stroke in October 2018 which saved him away from the general public scene for a lot of months, the Head of State has often reshuffled the federal government after having demanded, on his return from convalescence, his ministers that they ” put to work within the service of the inhabitants” . The presidency frequently submits them to audits.

Mr. Bilie-By-Nze, who has already held key ministries, together with Overseas Affairs , was additionally a political adviser and spokesperson for Mr. Bongo from 2012 to 2015. He’s thought of an in depth and dependable supporter of the pinnacle of state.

The put up of vice-president, entrusted Monday for the primary time to a lady, had been vacant since Could 2019, when the earlier holder, Pierre Claver Maganga Moussavou – an opponent appointed there in 2017 after a political dialogue with the opposition – had been sacked.

The Vice-President is appointed by the Head of State, who can take away him from workplace at any time. The put up had been abolished from 2009 to 2017. The Structure solely grants him a comparatively minor position: “the president is assisted by a vice-president of the Republic” who “provides him within the features that he delegates to him ” .

It’s subsequently, with Alain-Claude Bilie-By-Nze, a devoted and a heavyweight in Gabonese politics, that Mr. Bongo has chosen to go his authorities eight months earlier than the presidential election.

Narrowly re-elected in 2016, with simply over 5,000 votes forward of his challenger, Ali Bongo, 63, is broadly anticipated to be the candidate in 2023 of the omnipotent Gabonese Democratic Occasion (PDG) of which he’s the chief and who has been calling him for a 12 months to be his “pure candidate” .

For now, the opposition has break up into a mess of events however its leaders, whether or not they have already declared themselves candidates or not, are calling for “union” to “put an finish to greater than 55 years of dynasty Bongo” .