Transitional PM for Gabon names cabinet

Gabon Military Leader Gen Nguema Marched Through The Streets

Raymond Ndong Sima, Gabonese transitional prime minister, on Saturday published the list of 26 members of his government.

According to the list, this transitional government is made up of 26 ministers, including the head of the transitional government. Key government positions were held by new figures, including Murielle Minkoue Epse Mintsa, minister of institutional reform.

Three ministers from the outgoing cabinet remained in the new transitional government. Camelia Ntoutoume-Leclercq retained her portfolio as minister of national education, while Hermann Immongault, former minister of foreign affairs, was named as minister delegate for the interior, and Raphael Ngazouze, previously in charge of professional training, took over the ministry of public function.

According to the transitional charter, members of the transitional government will not be able to be candidates in a future presidential election.

Brice Oligui Nguema, Gabonese transitional president, on Thursday appointed Sima as prime minister, head of the transitional government. Sima, 68, served as prime minister from 2012 to 2014; he ran for president in the presidential elections both in 2016 and 2023.

Nguema promised, at his inauguration ceremony on Monday, a new constitution by referendum, a new electoral code, and a reliable penal code, after a coup leading to the overthrow of Ali Bongo on Aug. 30. He pledged to “return power to civilians” and hold “free” and “transparent” elections after the transition without specifying the election date and duration of the transition.

Gabon’s leading opposition group, Alternance 2023, which claimed to be the winner of the elections on Aug. 26, has called on the international community to encourage the junta to hand power back to civilians.

Bongo was allowed to go abroad Wednesday for medical checkups, a week after being kept under house arrest since the coup.

“Given his state of health, former President of the Republic Ali Bongo Ondimba is free to move. He can, if he wishes, go abroad to carry out his medical checks,” according to a statement by the transitional president.

On Aug. 30, a group of military officers appointed Nguema, commander-in-chief of the Gabonese Republican Guard, to head the transition after launching a coup earlier in the day following the announcement of the reelection of Bongo by the national electoral body.

Bongo, 64, once served as minister of defense and other posts in the government. He was elected president of Gabon in 2009 and was reelected in 2016.

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