Peo­ple are wary with Ali Bongo in Morocco. It’s not clear whether he is the one still gov­ern­ing or a clique around him.”

The East African - - OUTLOOK -

The coup at­tempts "shows that the peo­ple are not happy," for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Ray­mond Ndong Sima said from Li­bre­ville.

"Peo­ple are wary of the cur­rent state of af­fairs with Ali Bongo in Morocco. It's not clear whether he is the one still gov­ern­ing or a clique around him," he said.

Pres­i­dent Bongo has only ap­peared in pub­lic twice since he was rushed to the hospi­tal while at­tend­ing an in­vest­ment con­fer­ence in Saudi Ara­bia on Oc­to­ber 24. He has been in power since elec­tions that were Ray­mond Ndong Sima, for­mer prime min­is­ter held months after the 2009 death in of­fice of his fa­ther, Omar Bongo, who was at the time the world's long­est-serv­ing pres­i­dent.

The 2016 pres­i­den­tial vote was marred by a vi­o­lent po­lice crack­down as op­po­si­tion sup­port­ers protested elec­tion re­sults that few con­sid­ered plau­si­ble, leav­ing scores of peo­ple dead. Pres­i­dent Bongo de­feated his main chal­lenger, Jean Ping, by less than 6,000 bal­lots due to a voter turnout of 99 per cent in Pres­i­dent Bongo's home prov­ince. Eu­ro­pean Union ob­servers crit­i­cised the elec­tions for lack­ing trans­parency and the French govern­ment called for a re­count.

For­mer colo­nial ruler France, which has a mil­i­tary base in the Cen­tral African na­tion, con­demned the coup at­tempt.

"The sta­bil­ity of Gabon can only be as­sured by a strict re­spect of the Con­sti­tu­tion," the For­eign Min­istry said in a state­ment.

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