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 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.