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State structure

Gabon has been a republic since independence. The 1991 constitution, amended in 1995, provides for the election of a president for a 5-year term, with one-off re-election. In 1996, this term was extended to seven years. The multi-party system is also enshrined in the constitution, which also guarantees individual and civil liberties.

The Prime Minister, like the other members of the cabinet, is appointed by the President. Executive power rests with the President and the Council of Ministers. Legislative power rests with the president and the 120-member parliament, which is elected for five years. A number of councils monitor compliance with the laws enshrined in the constitution, human rights and press freedom.


Since its creation in 1968, Bongo's party, the Parti Dé mocratique gabonais (PDG), has played a leading role. Other political parties include the Union du Peuple gabonais (UPG), Parti gabonais du Progrès (PGP), Rassemblement pour le Gabon (RPG) and the Parti Social démocrate (PSD). Part of Moli ère Boutama's former opposition party Mouvement de Redressement National (Morena) joined the government majority in June this year.

In the presidential elections of November 2005, the incumbent was elected for a sixth term with 79.2%. His main opponents, Pierre Mamboundou (Union du Peuple gabonais) and Zacharie Myboto (Union gabonaise pour la Démocratie et le Développement) failed to reach 13.6% and 6.6% respectively. The opposition accuses President Bongo of buying votes and allowing his opponents to disrupt election rallies. After the elections, some disturbances occurred in Libreville.

The current political situation is described in the history section.


Gabon is Africa's third largest oil producer after Nigeria and Angola. A large part of its GNP and 69% of its export earnings are due to oil production, which makes the economy relatively vulnerable. After a peak production of 370,000 barrels per day at the end of the 1990s, oil production is declining. Oil wealth and a relatively small population mean that Gabon has one of the highest per capita incomes on the continent, but wealth is unevenly distributed: 20% of the population have 90% of the income, while over 34% live in poverty.

Other important economic sectors are forestry and mining (manganese and uranium). However, the mining sector's share in exports is limited. One of the weakest sectors of the Gabonese economy is agriculture.

When oil production started to decline, Gabon was faced with a high external debt and the government was forced to implement IMF reform programmes. To qualify for IMF support, Gabon presented a PRSP, which emphasises public finance reform, good governance, poverty reduction and diversification of the oil-dependent economy.


Elmar Landeninformatie

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated April 2024
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