Gabon’s President Ali Bongo Ondimba, has revealed that he will be seeking a third term in office.
“I officially announce today that I am a candidate,” he told a crowd of supporters in a speech broadcast live on his Facebook page.
Bongo, 64, succeeded his father, Omar Bongo Ondimba, who had ruled the country for 41 years, in 2009.
In 2016, the president was re-elected by a mere 5,500 votes over competitor Jean Ping, who claimed the election was rigged.
Bongo suffered a stroke in 2018 and spent months rehabilitating, prompting the opposition to challenge his capacity to lead the country.
The opposition refers to the Bongo family as a “dynastic power” because they have already dominated the nation for 55 years.
However, the opposition has been unable to settle on a single presidential candidate, allowing about 15 hopefuls to declare their candidatures.
The Gabonese parliament decided to change the constitution in April, cutting the president’s seven-year term to five.
Some opposition members opposed the changes, especially the removal of the two-round voting process, for “facilitating the re-election” of Bongo.