Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

French presidential election: What attracts young voters to the far right?

Read more

ENCORE!

Music show: Jamiroquai, Nelly Furtado & jazz singer China Moses

Read more

EUROPE NOW

Italy challenged by populism

Read more

EUROPE NOW

60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome: What's to celebrate?

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

How traffickers lie to migrants wanting to go to Europe; and the gold rush polluting rivers in Ivory Coast

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Startled startups flee UK ahead of Brexit

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

What's next for Yemen?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French Guiana: 'A powder keg abandoned by the state'

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

French presidential election: Over 40% remain undecided

Read more

Africa

PM denies government mulling emergency powers

Video by Florence VILLEMINOT

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-09-07

In an exclusive interview with FRANCE 24, Gabon's Prime Minister Paul Biyoghe Mba has denied his government was considering a state of emergency in the riot-hit city of Port-Gentil, contradicting an earlier statement from his interior minister.

AFP - The death toll in post-election unrest in Gabon's second city stands at three, Interior Minister Jean-Francois Ndongou said Sunday, as he revealed the government is considering emergency powers if violence does not subside.

"The president and the prime minister do not want to put Port-Gentil under a state of siege. We are not yet at that level," Ndongou told local officials in Port-Gentil, which is already under a dusk-to-dawn curfew.


"But if peace, order and harmony are not restored, we are going to solicit authorisation to do so from parliament."

Under the constitution, Gabon's president can, after cabinet discussion and consulation with parliament, decree a state of emergency or a state of siege, thus assuming "special powers under conditions set out by law".

"A state of siege is serious," warned Ndongou, who spoke of a potential lockdown of the city. "There would be a ban on movement without special authorisation. Do not turn Port-Gentil into a battlefield."

Together with the defence minister, Ndongou on Sunday put the death toll in Port-Gentil at three since violence erupted on Thursday following the declaration of Ali Bongo as winner of the August 30 presidential vote.

Of the fatalities, "not one death is due to the presence of the military," he said, adding that he was ready to accept "an international investigation" into the unrest.

AFP had previously put the death toll at at least two, based on statements from relatives of the victims. Ndongou did not say how many people were injured or arrested.

Bongo, 50, is the son of former president Omar Bongo, who was Africa's longest-serving ruler until his death in June.

Date created : 2009-09-06

COMMENT(S)