- Gabon’s democratic crisis can be traced to France’s postcolonial strategy
- Dictators supported by France entrenched themselves after the Cold War
- Paris is reluctant to oppose leaders who can hold its energy interests hostage
Gabon was gripped by crisis after its August 27, 2016 presidential election. President Ali Bongo, the son of former dictator Omar Bongo, was reelected to a seven-year term amid controversy surrounding the vote count. Riots and clashes with security forces in Libreville left six dead and hundreds more injured. The parliament building was set ablaze. On September 24, the constitutional court claimed to have examined the vote tallies and it confirmed Mr. Bongo’s victory – to the fury of the opposition, but to the surprise of no one.