🇬🇦 Military officers in Gabon appear to have taken power after announcing the cancellation of election results which had confirmed that the country’s President, Ali Bongo, had won a third term of office with 64.27% of the vote. Bongo has been President since October 2009 when he succeeded his father, Omar Bongo, who died in office.
The Bongo family had held the Presidency since 1967 when Omar Bongo had come to power with the death in office of the country’s first president, Léon M’ba. In all, the Bongo family had held the Presidency for 53 years.
Gabon was admitted to membership of The Commonwealth on 25 June 2022 at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Kigali in Rwanda. It is a Francophone country and, unlike most Commonwealth territories, had had no links with Britain prior to its admission to the organisation. Gabon becomes another West/Central African Francophone country to have experienced a military coup recently - Niger was the location of a coup in July 2023 and others took place in Burkina Faso (January 2022), Mali (August 2020), Chad (April 2021), and Guinea (September 2021). News of Ali Bongo’s fate is awaited.
|Announcement of the coup|
The usual response of The Commonwealth is to suspend the membership of countries which have experienced military coups until democracy is restored.
The Gabon postal service is not known to have issued any new stamps since the country joined The Commonwealth. Whether or not this coup will have any effects on future Gabon stamp issues remains to be seen.