Gabon Coup: Army officers announce power takeover

A sreenshot of the Army officers announcing power take-over in Gabon. [Courtesy Twitter]

Military officers in Gabon have announced a move to take over power.

In a televised announcement, about twelve soldiers are seen saying they are cancelling the results of the just concluded election in which the incumbent President Ali Bongo was declared the winner.

Army officers have appeared on national television in Gabon to say they have taken power.

According to BBC, Gabon’s electoral commission on Saturday said Mr Bongo had won just under two-thirds of the votes in an election the opposition argued was fraudulent.

With the military men taking over, this would bring to an end Bongo and his family’s 53-year rule.

BBC further said the military men announced cancellation of the election results and dissolution of "all the institutions of the republic".

The leader of the military wing on TV channel Gabon 24 said: "We have decided to defend peace by putting an end to the current regime."

Gabon President Ali Bongo. [Courtesy]

This, he added, was down to "irresponsible, unpredictable governance resulting in a continuing deterioration in social cohesion that risks leading the country into chaos".

President Ali Bongo came to power when his father Omar died in 2009.

In 2018, he suffered a stroke which sidelined him for almost a year and lead to calls for him to step aside.

 A year later, Gabon foiled an attempted military coup, killing two suspected plotters and capturing seven others just hours after they took over state radio in a bid to end Bongo's rule.

Government spokesman Guy-Bertrand Mapangou announced the deaths and arrests after soldiers briefly seized the radio station and broadcast a message saying Bongo was no longer fit for office after suffering a stroke in Saudi Arabia in October.