#Gabon: Ali Bongo’s first cabinet since his stroke

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The head of State of Gabon Ali Bongo in Libreville Tuesday chaired his first cabinet meeting since he suffered Oct. 24 of a cerebral vascular accident ( stroke ) while standing in Riyadh.

The presidential communication services published photos of Ali Bongo seated at the Council table, held at the “Palais du seaside”, the name given to the Gabonese presidency. No details on the holding of the Council of Ministers had filtered at 18:15 (17:15 GMT ).

It was the first Council of the new head of government, Julien Nkoghe Bekale, appointed in January, as well as his ministers.

In the absence of Ali Bongo, the last cabinet of the previous government was held in mid-November under the chairmanship of Vice-President Pierre-Claver Maganga Moussavou, following a change in the Constitution allowing him to do it.

Victim of a stroke on 24 October while in Saudi Arabia, President Bongo, returning Sunday evening in Libreville from Rabat where he had been recuperating for three months, had only returned once since, very briefly, on the 15th of January. He was then sworn in by the ministers of the new Bekalé government.

The oath of Rabat

In mid-February, a minister, appointed during a mini-reshuffle, went to Rabat to take an oath before President Bongo at the Gabonese embassy in Morocco, in the presence of the members of the Constitutional Court who had made the displacement.

On Monday, Mr. Bongo received several political figures in the presidency and went to several neighborhoods in Libreville to greet bystanders by the open window of his car. Very little information has filtered for four months on the Gabonese president and his state of health.

Some official photos and videos have tried to fill the void and prove that the head of state, in power since 2009 after taking over from his dead father, Omar Bongo Ondimba, was fine.

He had presented his New Year greetings from Rabat, in an unsteady voice, in a short televised address. 

A week later, an attempted coup took place in Libreville to denounce the absence of the president and want to establish a “democratic transition”.

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