Gabonese military officers have canceled election results and dissolved state institutions, claiming they have taken power, local media reported on Wednesday.
The African country’s borders are closed until further notice, said the reports, adding gunfire was heard in the capital Libreville.
The officers said that the general election was not credible and the results are annulled.
Prior to the incident, Gabon’s national electoral body said that President Ali Bongo Ondimba from the ruling Gabonese Democratic Party was re-elected for a third term in Saturday’s election.
A group of senior Gabonese officers announced that they had seized power after Ali Bongo, the incumbent president, was announced to be re-elected in a contested election. The election results were cancelled, state institutions dissolved, and all borders closed until further notice, said these officers.
“In the name of the Gabonese people … we have decided to defend the peace by putting an end to the current regime,” the senior military officers said on national television after the results were announced. They read a statement on behalf of the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions.
“All the institutions of the Republic are dissolved, in particular the government, the Senate, the National Assembly, the Constitutional Court, the Economic, Social and Environmental Council, the Gabonese Center for Elections,” read the statement.
The Gabonese presidency and the government have not yet responded to the statement.
Ali Bongo, 64, once served as minister of defense and other posts in the government. He was elected president of the Gabonese Republic in 2009 and was re-elected in 2016. ■