Gabonese Head of State Ali Bongo Ondimba chose one of his loyal followers, Alain-Claude Bilie-By-Nze, as the new Prime Minister on Monday, replacing Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda, appointed Vice-President of the Republic.
It is a heavyweight in Gabonese politics that Mr. Bongo joined eight months before the presidential election.
Mr. Bilie-By-Nze, 55, who has held several portfolios since 2006, was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Water Resources in the outgoing government.
Ms. Ossouka Raponda, the first female head of a Gabonese government, has been appointed vice-president, a position vacant since May 2019, whose function is to “assist” the head of state and who has no role of interim in the event of a power vacuum.
“By decree of the President of the Republic (…) is appointed Prime Minister, Head of Government, Mr. Alain-Claude Bilie-By-Nze”, declared to the press the Secretary General of the Presidency, Jean-Yves Teale.
A few hours later, Mr. Bilie-By-Nze himself informed the arrangement of his government: the previous one restarted nearly identically for key and intermediate positions, but went from 38 to 45 members with the addition of seven deputy ministers.