Gabon rul­ing party panel urges clar­ity over hos­pi­talised pres­i­dent

Observer on Saturday - - News - AFP

- Se­nior fig­ures in Gabon's rul­ing party on Thurs­day called on the gov­ern­ment to clar­ify the con­di­tion of Pres­i­dent Ali Bongo, whose hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion in Saudi Ara­bia has fu­elled spec­u­la­tion that he is in­ca­pac­i­tated.

The con­sul­ta­tive com­mit­tee of the Gabonese Demo­cratic Party (PDG) said clar­ity was nec­es­sary to "re­as­sure the pub­lic" at a time "of wild ru­mours in the me­dia and on so­cial net­works."

While in­sist­ing that "va­ca­tion of power is not on the agenda," the com­mit­tee warned lack of in­for­ma­tion could "pro­mote ha­tred, di­vi­sion and a de­te­ri­o­rat­ing po­lit­i­cal cli­mate." Bongo, 59, fell ill on Oc­to­ber 24 dur­ing a visit to Riyadh to at­tend an eco­nomic fo­rum.

His spokesper­son Ike Ngouoni said doc­tors there had di­ag­nosed him with "se­vere fa­tigue" and or­dered bed rest.

A for­eign source close to the cou­ple told AFP on Wed­nes­day that Bongo had had a stroke.

Lack of of­fi­cial news - along with mem­o­ries of the se­crecy-shrouded demise of Bongo's fa­ther, Omar Bongo, who died in of­fice in 2009 af­ter decades at the helm - has set the ru­mour mill churn­ing at full tilt.

GABON

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