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Military Coup In Gabon Just After Announcement Of Presidential Election Results

Updated: Aug 31, 2023

Africa | Gabon August 30, 2023

In the early morning of August 30, 2023, some senior military officers in Gabon, announced on national television that the military has seized power. That was reported by some media. The military coup comes just hours after the country's electoral body announced the results of a presidential election that was held on August 26, 2023, by which incumbent President Ali Bongo was declared the winner.

According to the reports, the military there has now nullified the results of the presidential election. Also, it has, among others, abolished all public institutions, and closed all the country's borders until further notice.

The military coup is said to have been applauded by the dwellers of the capital Libreville, who have reportedly been celebrating in huge numbers in the streets of the city, the coup and fall of President Ali Bongo.

Gabon is a former colony of France. Over the past 56 years, the country has been ruled by only two members of one family, namely the Bongo family, resulting in what has been dubbed in some quarters as the Bongo Dynasty. First to rule was Omar Bongo, from 1967 until he died in 2009. Then his son Ali Bongo took over power, ruling the country from 2009 until he was ousted by the military on August 30, 2023.

More generally, Gabon is one of the richest countries in Africa with massive wealth of oil reserves and other natural assets. As such, the country is among income rich countries in the continent with GDP per capita (nominal) of US$9 294 as of 2023 estimate by IMF.

Nominal GDP per capita is a statistical economic variable or indicator, that is derived by simply dividing the GDP figure by number of people in a country. It is therefore a theoretical variable that does not show how national income is distributed in a country in real life.

In Gabon, despite the relatively high nominal GDP per capita, in real life, the national wealth is said to have benefited only a few. According to some sources, about 39% of Gabon's population live under the international poverty line of US$2.15 per day, while housing and infrastructure in the country are still underdeveloped. This is the myth of nominal GDP per capita. Some countries boasting they are rich with super high nominal GDP per capita, while a good portion of their populations are impoverished sometime more than the people in countries they call "poor nations".

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