Gabon has amended its constitution. The reform, which rewords a large number of articles, was passed in a joint session of the National Assembly and the Senate by 177 votes to 16.
The reforms are mainly technical. They focus on the rules of eligibility for election and the nature of the electoral process, particularly regarding presidential elections. However, recent events in Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire have shown that these ‘technical’ issues are often extremely controversial and potentially significant.
Another aspect of the reform was a slight increase in the president’s powers. Notably, the president’s powers in matters of defence and security were strengthened.
It is worth noting that presidential term limits were not reintroduced and that the single-ballot first-past-the-post method of electing the president was unchanged.
The bill that was passed by the Congress is available in French here.