Gabon’s PM Resigns To Run For President

Jean Eyeghe Ndong

Jean Eyeghe Ndong

Jean Eyeghe Ndong, Prime Minister of Gabon,  said on Friday he had resigned in protest at his party’s choice of the son of deceased president Omar Bongo as presidential candidate and would stand against him in the poll. The ruling Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG) on Wednesday named Defence Minister Ali Ben Bongo as its official candidate in the presidential election in the oil-producing West African country.The vote must be held before September 6.

Ndong, who will run as an independent, said his argument was not with Bongo standing, but with the manner in which he was selected by the PDG. “I am offering my candidacy outside the PDG simply because procedure was not respected,” he told a news conference.”From my position as prime minister, I have witnessed since the death of President Omar Bongo that senior figures in the PDG have begun a course of dividing the party and destabilising the state,” he said.

Ali Ben Bongo was chosen by consensus, PDG deputy general secretary Angel Ondo said on Wednesday.

Opposition figures have expressed concern the election will be neither free nor fair, and will guarantee the succession of Ali Ben Bongo to the position his father held for more than four decades, during which he became one of Africa’s richest men.

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