Press Olégué Nguema, the leader who led the coup that ousted Gabon’s President Ali Bongo late on Friday, said he wants to avoid rushing into elections that “repeat the mistakes of the past” as pressure mounts on the military council to return power to the civilian government.
Military officers seized power in a coup on Wednesday, just minutes after President Ali Bongo was declared the winner of a third term in presidential elections.
The coup leaders placed Bongo under house arrest and selected General Nguema as the leader of the transitional phase. The takeover ended the Bongo family’s 56-year grip on power.
This coup is the eighth in West and Central Africa in three years, leading to large crowds celebrating in the streets of the capital, Libreville. However, it has faced condemnation both domestically and internationally.
Nguema said in a televised address on Friday evening that the military council will move “quickly but steadily” and will avoid holding elections that “repeat the same mistakes” by keeping the same people in power.