General Brice Oligui Nguema, who oversaw the overthrow of Gabon’s 55-year-old monarchy last week in a coup, took the oath of office as interim president on Monday and pledged to organise “free… (and) transparent elections” at a later date.
Wednesday saw a coup attempt against President Ali Bongo Ondimba, scion of a family that had ruled since 1967, led by Oligui, chief of the elite Republican Guard.
The removal occurred immediately after Bongo, 64, was declared the winner of the presidential election last month, a decision that the opposition called a fraud.
“I swear before God and the Gabonese people to faithfully preserve the republican regime,” said Oligui.
Dressed in the red ceremonial costume of the Republican Guard, Oligui also swore to “preserve the achievements of democracy”, at the ceremony held before judges of the Constitutional Court.
He immediately pledged in a speech to hold “free… (and) transparent elections” after a transition period which he did not specify, and to amnesty “prisoners of conscience.”