Gabon’s President Ali Bongo Ondimba to seek 3rd term

Gabon’s President Ali Bongo Ondimba declared on Sunday that he intended to seek reelection next month for a third term in office.

“I officially announce today that I am a candidate,” Bongo said, addressing supporters at a Special Investment Zone about 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) from the capital Libreville.

In a live-streamed speech on his Facebook page, Bongo said he would “take Gabon further,” if reelected in the presidential polls set on Aug. 26.

His Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG) is expected to endorse him on Monday as its candidate during an extraordinary congress.

During his country tours that began a year ago, the president’s supporters had been calling on him to run for a third term but he avoided making a clear declaration.

Bongo, 64, was first elected president in 2009 after the death of his father Omar Bongo Ondimba, who had ruled the small oil-rich Central African nation for more than four decades.

He was reelected in 2016 for a second seven-year term in polls observers said were marred by violence.

In April, the Gabonese parliament amended the country’s Constitution to reduce the president’s term from seven to five years.

According to the electoral calendar released by the Gabonese Elections Center, voters in the country will go to the polls to elect the president, legislators, and local councils on the same day.w

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