It is another season of coup in Africa as military officers in Gabon announced that they have taken power in a national broadcast.
The officers explained that they were annulling the outcome of Saturday’s election, in which President Ali Bongo was declared the winner.
The electoral umpire said the incumbent leader had won just under two-thirds of the votes in an election the opposition said was fraudulent.
Twelve soldiers appeared on television declaring that the election results would be annulled and “all the institutions of the republic” would be dissolved.
The coup would end president Ali Bongo family’s 53-year reign in Gabon if it is successful.
The junta said, “We have decided to defend peace by putting an end to the current regime.”
This, one of the officers added, was due to “irresponsible, unpredictable governance resulting in a continuing deterioration in social cohesion that risks leading the country into chaos.”
Gabon’s government earlier announced a nationwide curfew and cut off internet access Saturday evening as voting in major national elections was coming to a close.
The coup in Gabon raised the number of countries under military rule in Africa to eight following similar takeovers in Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, and in recent times Republic of Niger.