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General Brice Oligui Nguema denounces corruption and promises democratic institutions – RT in French

The general who overthrew President Ali Bongo Ondimba in Gabon promised “more democratic” institutions that respect “human rights”, but without “rushing”.

Promising more democratic institutions in Gabon, General Brice Oligui Nguema on September 1 targeted the “corruption” of the former government of Ali Bongo, whose family had ruled this small oil-rich Central African state for more than 55 years.

During meetings conducted at a frantic pace with “the living forces of the Nation”, parties, the diplomatic corps, international organizations and donors, he insisted on the fact that he wanted to reassure inside as outside the country.

But by promising a new Constitution and a new electoral code, Gabon’s new strongman, who is due to be sworn in as “Transitional President” on September 4, closed the door to the main parties of the old opposition who urged to return power to civilians by entrusting it to Albert Ondo Ossa, who came second in the presidential election on August 26, which she considers fraudulent.

The army says it carried out its putsch on August 30 because the results proclaiming Bongo’s re-election were rigged and his regime was marked by “irresponsible and unpredictable governance” as well as corruption.

The general had invited the diplomatic corps and international organizations on September 1, but the countries, Western and African in particular, which had condemned the coup d’etat did not send their ambassadors but diplomats of lower rank, testified for the Participant AFPs.

The activities of some 400 French soldiers, permanently stationed in Gabon, as part of bilateral military cooperation, have been suspended “while waiting for the political situation to become clearer”, declared the French Minister for the Armed Forces Sébastien Lecornu, in an interview. to the French newspaper Le Figaro published on September 1.

“The sincerity of the elections” called into question

Lecornu wanted to differentiate the coups in Gabon and Niger. “France condemns all acts of force (…) However, we cannot put on the same level the situation in Niger, where illegitimate soldiers dismissed a legitimately elected president, and that of Gabon, where the motive put forward by the military is precisely the failure to respect the electoral law and the Constitution. Because in fact, and, I weigh my words, there are doubts about the sincerity of the elections in this country”, underlined the French minister.

The leader of the putsch affirmed that the dissolution of the institutions was “temporary”, assuring that it was a question of making “more democratic tools”, in particular in “matter of respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, democracy and the rule of law but also the fight against corruption which has become commonplace in our country”.

In front of civil society, General Oligui, head of the all-powerful praetorian guard of the Bongo family, then promised a new Constitution, and a new electoral code, but without “confusing speed and haste”. “Who goes slowly, goes surely,” he said.

Bongo has been under house arrest in Libreville since the coup. Sylvia Bongo, his Franco-Gabonese wife, is also being held incommunicado, his lawyers said on September 1, announcing that they had filed a complaint in France for arbitrary detention.

During a speech Thursday, August 31 but broadcast Friday by state television, General Oligui lectured more than 200 Gabonese business leaders, accusing some of having participated in corruption. He threatened them with legal action, accusing many of them of having fueled corruption at the top of power.

With a dark look, he reproached them for a lack of “patriotism”, summoned them to “question themselves” and to “stop” the widespread practice of “overbilling” in contracts with the State, giving rise to kickbacks to senior officials.

“Billions of CFA francs”

At the same time, public television broadcast images of one of the ousted president’s sons, Noureddin Bongo Valentin, and other young people close to him “and to the First Lady”, senior officials of Bongo’s cabinet, all arrested on day of the putsch. They were shown in front of trunks, boxes and bags overflowing with wads of banknotes for “billions of CFA francs” (millions of euros).

The putschists accuse them – Noureddin Bongo included – of “high treason”, “massive embezzlement of public funds” and “falsification of the signature” of the head of state.

Ali Bongo was elected in 2009 on the death of his father Omar Bongo Ondimba, who had ruled the country for more than 41 years and was one of the pillars of “Françafrique”, then re-elected with difficulty in 2016, in a ballot that the opposition already denounced as rigged.

RT All Fr Trans

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