In Gabon, General Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema, the leader of the coup, was sworn in on September 4th under a transition charter. This charter outlines how power will be shared in the country and the process that will unfold, although it still raises numerous questions.
The origins of this transition charter, including its authors and drafting process, remain unclear. It bears the signatures of General Oligui Nguema, the newfound strongman of Gabon, and six other officers. According to an observer, the drafters seemed to have drawn inspiration from the transition charter of Burkina Faso [which experienced two coups in 2022] and various drafts circulating on social media. The document was crafted in less than a week, between the coup and the swearing-in ceremony.
The contents of this seven-page, 62-article document include the recognition and affirmation of values, freedoms, and rights. It also outlines the objectives of the transition period.
The charter envisions a comprehensive program of an unspecified duration. The task at hand is monumental, as it involves the reshaping of the state, the establishment of new institutions, major reforms across various domains, the reinforcement of judicial independence, and the fight against impunity.
Furthermore, it necessitates the creation of a new Constitution through a referendum and culminates in free and transparent general elections. However, the charter does not provide a specific timeline for these processes.
Details on Transitional Bodies
The document made available to RFI provides details on the transitional bodies and power-sharing arrangements. These include a president and a National Transition Council, tasked with assisting the president in shaping policy, although little is known about this council.
Additionally, the charter outlines the establishment of a government, a parliament, and a constitutional court as the primary organs of the transition.