Earlier this year, Gabon’s National Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of new legislation allowing the unlimited renewal of the presidential seven-year term.
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The end of term limits effectively allows President Ali Bongo Ondimba, 59, to rule for life. The constitutional changes also allow the president to “determine the policy of the nation”.
Analysts warn that “the net effect of these changes is to give the president the powers of an absolute monarch”. Many Gabonese have only known the father-and-son 50 year-long rule since Bongo replaced his father in 2009.