Gabon: A former opponent named interim Prime Minister

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LIBREVILLE (Reuters) – The junta that took power last week in Gabon named a former opposition leader, Raymond Ndong Sima, as prime minister of the transitional government on Thursday.

A 68-year-old economist, Raymond Ndong Sima had become a virulent critic of President Ali Bongo, after having been his Prime Minister between 2012 and 2014. He notably ran against the head of state during the presidential election of 2016.

In power since 2009 after succeeding his father Omar Bongo, who ruled Gabon for 42 years, Ali Bongo was overthrown last week when he had just been announced elected for a third term.

Coup officers appointed General Brice Oligui Nguema as interim president, who promised reforms and free elections, although he did not provide a timetable.

The appointment of Raymond Ndong Sima was announced in a decree read by officers on television.

(Reporting by Gerauds Wilfried Obangome, French version Tangi Salaün, edited by Nicolas Delame)


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