Gabon's interim PM names new government; opposition figures excluded
Raymond Ndong Sima served as Bongo's Prime Minister from 2012 to 2014 before becoming a critic and running against him in the 2016 and 2023 presidential elections.
Interim Prime Minister Raymond Ndong Sima of Gabon revealed his new government on Saturday, comprising military figures and ex-ministers from the regime of deposed President Ali Bongo Ondimba but none of the prominent opposition personalities.
Oligui has not specified a timeline for returning to civilian rule.
Ndong Sima, a 68-year-old Paris-educated economist, served as Bongo's Prime Minister from 2012 to 2014 before becoming a critic and running against him in the 2016 and 2023 presidential elections.
Ndong Sima had quit the political opposition's primary platform, Alternance 2023, which had united various opposition figures around a single presidential candidate, Albert Ondo Ossa.
The new cabinet did not include Ondo Ossa or any other key coalition players, such as Alexandre Barro Chambrier of the Rally for the Fatherland and Modernity (RPM) or Paulette Missambo of the National Union.
Paul-Marie Gondjout, a former National Union member who left the party in 2022 due to internal party strife, was appointed as justice minister.
The transitional charter prohibits any member of this interim administration from running in the next presidential election, but there is nothing stopping Oligui from running.
Civil society members were also nominated to the administration, including economic analyst Mays Mouissi, who will become the next economics minister.
Three of the ministers that served under Bongo remain in office. Camelia Ntoutoume-Leclercq retains her position as education minister. Hermann Immongault, the former foreign minister is the new interior minister, while Raphael Ngazouze, who was formerly in charge of vocational training, takes over the civil service job.