Gabon court orders prime minister to resign, parliament dissolved

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ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - JUNE 1, 2017: Gabon's Prime Minister Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet at the opening of the 2017 St Petersburg International Economic Forum [SPIEF 2017] at the ExpoForum Convention and Exhibition Centre in St. Petersburg, Russia, June 1, 2017. Valery Sharifulin/TASS Host Photo Agency (Photo by Valery SharifulinTASS via Getty Images)

Reuters LIBREVILLE – Gabon’s Constitutional Court on Monday ordered the prime minister to resign and the lower house of parliament dissolved after legislative elections scheduled for the weekend were delayed.

The court ruled that Prime Minister Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet and the National Assembly were no longer legitimate because the government failed to hold the election 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.

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

The court ordered President Ali Bongo to name an interim prime minister until elections could be organised. 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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