Gabon: Ali Bongo at the National Day Parade - RFI
In Gabon this is the National Independence Day this Saturday. The country celebrates the 59th anniversary of independence. On this occasion, President Ali
By RFIPalled on 17-08-2019Modified on 17-08-2019 at 03:16
In Gabon this is the National Independence Day this Saturday. The country celebrates the 59th anniversary of independence. On this occasion, President Ali Bongo, whose exits have become very rare since his stroke, delivered this Friday, August 16 a message to the nation and extolled the merits of reforms started. For his part, Jean Ping, who still considers himself elected president of Gabon, also delivered a message to the nation, saying the urgency to declare the vacancy of power.
Ali Bongo, the vocal stamp still marked by the disease, delivered his vision for Gabon. First, the training of young people. Priority to technical and vocational training to no longer train unemployed, he said.
Then, the reforms. Carried out with rigor, they begin to bear fruit. Economic growth will be 3.5% in 2019. The number of civil servants has fallen, as has the debt ratio from 64% to 60% of GDP. But that's not enough, insisted Ali Bongo.
" Far be it from me to satisfy myself and rest on our laurels, " said the head of state. But recognize that we have come a long way in recent years, with accelerated pace. I will not get out of it in the next few months, on the contrary, my dear compatriots. One finger does not wash the face. One person is not enough to build a nation. I need each one of you to make ours stronger and more prosperous. United, we are, united, we will stay. "
That same Friday, opponent Jean Ping held delivered his own message to the nation. He still considers himself the elected president of Gabon and wants to recall " the usurpation following the military-electoral coup d'état of 2016 ". But he also denounces a " second usurpation ": in his eyes, " the presidential power is almost vacant since October 2018 ".
Jean Ping therefore calls for "to engage the country in the way that freely expressed universal suffrage drew him in 2016 " and to " declare the vacancy of power ".
This Saturday, Ali Bongo will make his first big public release since his return from illness. He will preside over the traditional military parade on the occasion of the national holiday.
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