Gabon – New PM and election fever

Paul Biyoghé Mba is the new prime minister of Gabon. He was previously the Minister of Agriculture. According to Gaboneco, he was a member of the ruling PDG party who resigned in 1990 and set up his own party, the Mouvement commun de développement, only for this party to be reabsorbed into the PDG in 2002.

The previous prime minister, Jean Eyeghe Ndong, was appointed in 2006. He was reappointed in May by the interim president, Rose Francine Rogombé, following the death of the long-time president, Omar Bongo.

The government has announced that the presidential election will take place on 30 August. Ndong resigned from the premiership following the announcement that he would contest the election as an independent candidate. He had been one of the 10 candidates for the nomination of the ruling PDG party, but this nomination went to Omar Bongo’s son, Ali Ben Bongo Ondimba. There are upwards of 12 candidates according to Gaboneco. A couple of other ministers from the previous government also resigned in order to campaign independently, including Ali Ben Bongo Ondimba.

It is difficult to see anything other than a victory for Ali Ben Bongo Ondimba. However, the management of ethnic diversity may become a significant issue in the future.

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