Gabon’s constitutional court orders prime minister to resign

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Gabon’s Constitutional Court on Monday ordered the Prime Minister Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet to resign and the lower house of parliament dissolved after legislative elections scheduled for the weekend were delayed.

The court ruled that Issoze-Ngondet and the National Assembly were no longer legitimate because the government had failed to hold the vote on time.

“The decisions of the Constitutional Court are not to be commented on. They are to be applied,” Issoze-Ngondet said on national television after the ruling.

The president of the National Assembly Richard August Onouviet also said he accepted the court’s decision.

The court ordered President Ali Bongo Ondimba to name a temporary Prime Minister to serve until elections were organized.

A multi-party committee appointed an electoral commission last Friday after repeated delays to organise the vote but no new election date has yet been set.

The upper house of parliament, the Senate, will remain in place under the court’s order.

Bongo appointed Issoze-Ngondet prime minister after a narrow victory in a 2016 election that international observers said was marred by irregularities and that sparked brief spasms of violence.

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