The President of Gabon has not prepared his succession and should logically be a candidate for his own re-election in 2023.
2023 could have been the year of succession. Ali Bon Ondimba had, according to observers of Gabonese political life, prepared the ground for his son, Noureddin Bongo Valentin. The son of the Gabonese president had been appointed general coordinator of presidential affairs, which placed him, in fact, as the natural heir of the family. Especially since it was widely supported by the First Lady, Sylvia Bongo. But Noureddin Bongo Valentin was finally fired from his post.
The ruling party has therefore finally decided to give its confidence to the outgoing president. It is Ali Bon Ondimba who will run for a new term. A decision which, a year ago, seemed impossible: the Gabonese president was, according to rumors, in a very serious state of health. His political record was, moreover, disputed. The fact remains that he should logically return to his post during the next presidential election, which will also be an opportunity to organize legislative, local and senatorial elections.
If he does not yet have a runner-up, Ali Bongo reigns alone. With, in front of him, an opposition still too weak and disorganized to be able to beat him. And the camp in power is also preparing the ground. A favorable ground for a resumption of functions which would happen without mayhem, even in the event of a dispute at the ballot box.
Objective: zero post-election violence
Indeed, the Gabonese government, at the end of December, launched an idea: to launch a campaign on the theme "Zero breakage in 2023". The objective is to avoid post-election violence, as the country has already experienced. One way to prevent: the son of Omar Bongo will regain his seat as president whatever the opposition says.
In the meantime, everything is falling into place: the Constitutional Court should transfer all electoral powers to the Gabonese Election Center (CGE) and appoint new members. Ali Bongo also wants a tailor-made electoral law to prevent dissidents from overshadowing him. The Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG) should therefore once again see its leader win a presidential election.
But for Bongo, it's not so much 2023 that promises to be difficult. After his possible re-election, the president must at all costs unite, act and, above all, prepare for the future. Without a dolphin, it is in fact likely to stir up jealousies and make the political situation even more fragile than it is today.