Gabon junta eyes 24-month transition to elections – AFP cites interim PM

(Reuters) – A 24-month transition to elections in Gabon would be “reasonable” after last month’s coup, junta-appointed Prime Minister Raymond Ndong Sima was quoted as saying by French news agency AFP on Sunday.

Army officers seized power on Aug. 30, annulling an election minutes after an announcement that President Ali Bongo had won, which they said was not credible. Bongo, in power since 2009, had succeeded his father Omar Bongo, who ruled for 42 years.

The junta has promised to oversee free and fair elections, but has not given a timetable for organising them.

In the first comments on a possible length of this transition, Ndong Sima told AFP: “It is good to start with a reasonable goal by saying: ‘We hope to see the process completed within 24 months so that we can return to elections.'”

(Reporting by Nilutpal Timsina in Bengaluru; Writing by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Peter Graff)