In a significant announcement broadcasted live on national television, Gabon’s transitional authorities, under the leadership of the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions (CTRI), have outlined a detailed timetable for the country’s political transition, culminating in general elections scheduled for August 2025.
Lieut. Col. Ulrich Manfoumbi Manfoumbi, spokesperson for the CTRI, disclosed the timetable, highlighting key milestones in the transition process. According to the plan, a referendum to adopt a new constitution is set for December 2024, following the transformation of parliament into a Constituent Assembly in June 2024.
The junta emphasises that the timetable is provisional and subject to final adoption at the Inclusive National Dialogue, slated for April 1-30, 2024. This crucial dialogue, chaired by the Archbishop of Libreville, aims to establish new political and institutional frameworks for the republic.
The objectives outlined by the junta include the restoration of stability and confidence, comprehensive institutional and legislative reforms, and a dedicated effort to combat corruption. The announcement signals Gabon’s commitment to a structured and inclusive transition process, paving the way for a redefined political landscape.
Between satisfying the legitimate expectations of the people, to whom the military have made many promises, and meeting the demands of the international community, a lot is expected of the current government.
The Gabonese people react.
“CTRI is going to have to come clean. Because, quite simply, after two years, Gabon runs the risk of being hit by the international financial institutions, which suspend all aid in the event of a military regime”, says Roland Désiré Aba’a Minko, former political prisoner.
“The situation in Gabon was a political crisis. Twenty-four months seems reasonable enough to put in place the instruments of governance,” added Yvon Martial Ntzantzi Miyagou.
“Rushing things could lead us back to the behaviours that led to the coup d’état yesterday,” defended Serge William Akassagha, 1ᵉʳ deputy mayor of Libreville.
In addition to the presidential election scheduled for August 2025, the main highlights of this timetable are the inventory of issues and synthesis of proposals, the holding of a referendum to adopt a new constitution, and the reform of the Electoral Code. But for this Ethics policy analyst, the military will be judged by the extent to which their announcements are respected.
“The man in power has already been in power, the only thing new is that he wants to be given the benefit of the doubt. And perhaps he’s thinking that, we can do better. But in this case, we first wait for to see what is done, before giving it esteem and credit,” explained political ethics analyst, Modeste Abagha Assecko.
Although 2025 has been proposed by the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions as the date for the presidential election, and therefore for the end of the Transition in Gabon, CTRI nevertheless recalls that it is up to the Gabonese people to decide on the feasibility of this timetable during the national dialogue due to be held in April 2024.