Protests hit Gabon over changes to constitution

President Ali Bongo Ondimba has been out of the country since October seeking medical treatment.

Thousands of Gabonese workers took to the streets on Monday to protest against recent changes to the country’s constitution regarding leadership.

President Ali Bongo Ondimba has been out of the country since October seeking medical treatment – first in Saudi Arabia, followed by Morocco. Reports indicate that he suffered a stroke while on an official visit to Riyadh.

In his absence, Gabon’s Constitutional Court amended part of the constitution to allow the vice-president, Pierre-Claver Maganga Moussavou, to hold ministerial meetings and to unblock pending cases.

The country’s trade union alliance wants the president of the Senate to act as interim president, which is what the constitution outlined before the amendments.