Officially: République Gabonaise.
Seat of government: Libreville.
Status: Not democratic.
Structure: One-party state controlled by the Bongo family.
Governing party: Parti Démocratique Gabonais.
Head of government: Ali Ben Bongo, president.
Assessment: The first post-independence president, Léon M’ba (1960-7), created a dictatorship, at one point (1964) propped up by France in the face of democratic pressure. Albert-Bernard Bongo, later known as Omar Bongo (1967-2009), took power on his death, and continued the dictatorship under a one-party state. He eventually (1990) instituted a sham democracy. Constitutional changes allowed him an unlimited number of terms, and to claim victory without an outright majority, though his last “election” saw him claim a majority anyway. Bongo’s death in 2009 left a vacuum, with his children, then cabinet director Pascaline Bongo Ondimba and then defense minister Ali Ben Bongo, as the only real candidates to succeed him. Ali Ben Bongo was the official presidential candidate for the PDG, and was therefore declared the winner of the presidency. In 2016, a presidential election between Bongo and Jean Ping was clearly fixed, with Bongo the official winner by a narrow margin after fraudulent turnout figures were included.
FH: 6-4, partly free (not democratic). Econ: 3.00 (139), authoritarian.
Updated: 2016 September 6.