Bongo appeals to “former figures” of power

Bongo appeals to “former figures” of power

AA / Yaoundé / Peter Kum

A few months before the presidential election, and whose precise date has not yet been set, Gabonese President Ali Bongo carried out a cabinet reshuffle on Monday, reinstating former figures of power and introducing young skills.

Among the 45 ministers who were called on Monday, January 9, to serve the nation are René Ndemezo’o Obiang and Blaise Louembe, two former government figures under former President Omar Bongo.

“At 75 years old and while many saw him as the next Vice-President of the Republic”, René Ndemezo’o Obiang, appointed Minister of State for Consumer Affairs and the Fight against High Cost of Living, is back in school, “the more surprising of the government formed this Monday, January 9 by Alain-Claude Bilie-By-Nze”, commented, in an article, Monday, Gabon Review.

Under Omar Bongo, René Ndemezo’o Obiang was minister and spokesperson for the Gabonese government several times.

He had slammed the door of the presidential party, the Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG), in 2015 and created his own party to support Jean Ping, challenger to Ali Bongo during the 2016 presidential election.

René Ndemzo’o Obiang, former campaign manager of Jean Ping, joined the presidential party a few months ago following the absorption of his party, New Democracy, by the PDG.

Blaise Louembe, another former loyalist of Omar Bongo’s regime, returned to the revamped government on Monday as Minister of State for Industrial Development and SMIs.

This deputy from the 1st arrondissement of Koula-Moutou (Ogooué-Lolo) is returning to government after several years of absence.

Before leaving the government in May 2018, he had still spent 10 years without stopping.

Before the establishment of this new government team, Monday evening, President Bongo had appointed rather during the day the new Prime Minister, Alain Claude Bilie By Nze and Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda as Vice-President of the Republic, post vacant since May 2019 .

All the key ministers kept their portfolios and several young people joined the government team. Of the 45 ministerial posts, there are 13 women, including Félicité Ngoubili, Minister of National Defence.

More political than technocratic, the new government team set up in Gabon on Monday has the mission, among other things, of preparing and supporting a probable candidacy of the current head of state for the presidential election this year.

The CEO of Ali Bono will face a fierce opposition which is closing its ranks in anticipation of three elections, including the presidential one.

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