The military has announced a coup in Gabon, deposing President Ali Bongo, who was declared winner of Saturday’s election.
Bongo, who came to power after his father’s death in 2009, won a third term in an election which opposition argued was heavily marred.
Here are some things to know about the ousted Gabonese president, Ali Bongo.
Born Alain Bernard Bongo on February 9, 1959, the Gabonese politician often referred to as Ali Bongo was the country’s third president since 2009. Also, he is a member of the Gabonese Democratic Party.
Ali Bongo is the son of Omar Bongo, who was president of Gabon from 1967 until his death in 2009. During his father’s presidency, he was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1989 to 1991, he represented Bongoville as a deputy in the National Assembly from 1991 to 1999 and was Minister of Defense from 1999 to 2009. After his father’s death, he won the 2009 Gabonese presidential election.
Based on reports, he was re-elected in 2016, in elections marred by numerous irregularities, arrests, human rights violations and post-election protests and violence. Due to this, it was gathered that the military ousted him from the presidency following the results of the 2023 Gabonese general election, in the 2023 Gabonese coup d’état.
Bongo was educated at a private school in Neuilly, France, and then studied law at the Sorbonne. In 2018, he received an honorary doctorate of law degree from Wuhan University in China.
About his music career, in 1977, he released a funk album titled, A Brand New Man, which was produced by Charles Bobbit.
After graduating from his law course, he entered politics, joining the Gabonese Democratic Party. He later was elected to the PDG Central Committee at the party’s Third Extraordinary Congress in March 1983. Subsequently, he was his father’s Personal Representative to the PDG and in that capacity, he entered the PDG Political Bureau in 1984. He was then elected to the Political Bureau at an ordinary party congress in September 1986.
He has four children — a daughter, Malika Bongo Ondimba, and three sons, Noureddin Bongo Valentin, Jalil Bongo Ondimba and Bilal Bongo — whom he and Sylvia adopted in 2002.