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Election will not take place at scheduled date, says premier

Video by Florence VILLEMINOT , Pauline SIMONET

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-06-23

In an exclusive interview with FRANCE 24, Gabonese Prime Minister Jean Eyeghe Ndong said that it will not be possible to hold the presidential election at the end of July, the constitutional deadline. He may run for the job.

In an exclusive interview with FRANCE 24 television conducted in Libreville, Gabonese Prime Minister Jean Eyeghe Ndong acknowledged that it will not be possible to hold the presidential election at the end of July, the constitutional deadline.

"I don't see how in 45 days we can sort out the problem of the presidential election," he admits. "I hope I am not getting ahead of myself, but it seems certain that it will take us more than 45 days."

According to the Gabonese constitution, interim president Rose Francine Rogombe, who took up the post on June 10, has a maximum of 45 days after becoming acting head of state in which to organise a poll. But the constitution does allows for an extension in extreme cases.

Rogombe is scheduled to begin talks this Tuesday with leaders of political parties on the organisation of the vote.


Premier may be a candidate

Long-time president Omar Bongo Ondima's death was officially announced on June 8, and the race to replace him is well under way behind the scenes. His son, Ali Ben Bongo, currently the defence minister, is seen as one of the main contenders to take over from his father.

Ndong told FRANCE 24 that he may also run for the top job: "If certain people believe I can run as a candidate, I will consider it," he said.

Date created : 2009-06-23

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