Gabon: Constitutional Court dissolves Assembly, sanctions government

In Gabon, the Constitutional Court decided, on Monday, April 30, to dissolve the Assembly and to resign the government because the deadline for organizing the legislative elections was not respected.

The Gabonese authorities had until the end of April to do so. In this blocking situation, the Constitutional Court decides to strike hard.

This is a real political earthquake that has just occurred in the country. The decisions of the Constitutional Court are severe. The National Assembly is dissolved. In the meantime, the Senate has been appointed to act in the interim of the National Assembly.

To the general surprise, Marie-Madeleine Mborantsuo, President of the Constitutional Court, has released the chicotte: “the powers of the National Assembly end upon the notification of this decision to the public authorities, including the President of the National Assembly. In order to ensure the proper functioning of the public authorities, the legislative power will be represented by the Senate.”

It is impossible for the deputies to continue to sit while their mandate is exhausted for two years, explained the Constitutional Court.

The court also decided to punish the government for being unable to organize the parliamentary elections. The government is forced to resign. The President of the Republic is asked to appoint a transitional government whose mission will be to organize the legislative elections.

This same government, after the parliamentary elections, will also be forced to resign. In the meantime, since the National Assembly will not be available, the government will not be able to answer in the Senate. He will answer only in front of the President of the Republic.

To respond to this decision, part of the opposition is currently in conclave to prepare its reaction. But already, voices are rising and require the intervention of the Head of State.

For once, the Constitutional Court has gone in the right direction,” said David Mabdinga, spokesman for the coalition of 41 opposition parties. “That’s what had to be done, but anyway, she could not do otherwise. It has therefore taken a series of decisions, but in these decisions, we are somewhat surprised that it can confer on the Senate the prerogatives of the National Assembly. The Senate is an offshoot of local communities, its members are elected by indirect suffrage, while the National Assembly is an emanation of the people because its members are elected by direct universal suffrage.

“We ask the President of the Republic, which is the keystone of institutions to see this serious crisis, unprecedented – since 1960, we have never experienced this situation -and to learn the lessons of this serious enough situation so that the national political class, of all tendencies, can meet to analyse the situation and take the necessary decisions to get out of the rut.

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