The Council of Ministers announced the “convening of the electoral college for the election of the President of the Republic” plus members of the national assembly and municipal councils in August.
While President Ali Bongo Ondimba has not yet said whether he will stand again, he is widely expected to run for re-election against a very divided opposition. Bongo’s powerful Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG) holds strong majorities in both houses of parliament and is pushing for the president to announce he will run again.
So far the opposition has failed to agree on a single candidate for the presidential election, with between 15 and 20 candidates having announced their intention to run.
Amongst those on the opposition, is Alexandre Barro Chambrier, from the Rassemblement pour la Patrie et la Modernité (RPM) party. One of the president’s staunchest critics, he has yet to announce his intentions of running.
Another important opposition figure is Paulette Missambo, president of the Union nationale (UN), who has announced her candidature for the Alternance 2023 coalition.
Gabon is one of the richest African countries, in terms of GDP, due to its petrol, timber and manganese production, as well as its low population at only 2.3 million people. It is amongst the top producers of petroleum in sub-Saharan African, with the resource accounting for 38.5% of its GDP and 70.5% of its export revenue.