Noureddin Bongo Valentin was appointed as “coordinator of presidential affairs” on Thursday “to assist the President of the Republic in the conduct of all affairs of the State.”
The announcement was made by the spokesman of the government, Edgard Anicet Mboumbou Miyakou, at the end of a cabinet meeting.
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Local newspapers said the new position of general coordinator of presidential affairs was created at the end of the cabinet meeting.
The position is to “assist the President of the Republic in the conduct of all affairs of the State and ensures the strict application of decisions.”
Ali Bongo came to power in 2009 after he won a seven-year term following the death of his father, Omar Bongo, who led the country for 42 years. Ali Bongo won a second-term in 2016.
He suffered a stroke last year and has not been able to function as before, raising concerns that he may not be fit to run the minerals rich central African country which is currently undergoing a vast anti-corruption operation.
That operation has led to arrest of high-profile ex government officials, including former leader of cabinet of the presidency, Brice Laccruche Alihanga.
Newspapers recalled that three years ago, Malika Bongo Ondimba Dossou, the eldest daughter of Ali Bongo wrote in a Facebook post that she had presidential ambitions.
“I am mayor for two years now and I do not want to stop because I have huge ambitions for Gabon. Why not a woman President of the Republic of Gabon in 2022?’‘ she asked rhetorically. Malika, already into local politics was at the time mayor of the town of Akanda.
The Bongos have been accused of turning the presidency into a family business.