By Njodzeka Danhatu
The Appeal Court in Gabon will August 26, hear a complaint relating to President Ali Bongo’s health.
The court made it known last Monday when ten opposition members, civil society and trade union recently filed a complaint requesting that Bongo be assessed whether he is medically fit to continue in office.
The case had earlier been rejected by a lower court on grounds that only the two houses of assembly or a constitutional court had the prerogative to adjudicate such a case.
This comes at a time when the 60-year-old President Ali Bongo Odimba has made a public appearance, almost ten months after suffering from a stroke on October 24 last year.
The president was seen on Friday August 16, presiding a military parade on the eve of Gabon’s anniversary.
The ailing Bongo used a walking stick to support himself as he strolled on a red carpet receiving military honours and also shaking hands with his collaborators.
He appeared relaxed and calm, while walking slowly.
On Saturday, he is said to have made a televised speech that marked Gabon’s 59 years of independence since the end of French rule in 1960.
Gabonese React To President’s Health
Some Gabonese have cast doubt over Ali Bongo’s ability to run the country, stating his health condition as the main reason.
They have requested that he resign because he is seemingly unfit to continue ruling as president of the small oil rich country.
In June this year, Gabon had over 2million people according to Worldometers. The country has had three presidents since the end of French colonial rule in 1960.
In 1967, Omar Bongo succeeded Leon Mba as second president and ruled till his death on June 8, 2009.
His son, current president, Ali Bongo was elected that same year and was again re-elected in 2016 in a controversial election that was marred by violence.
His challenger, Jean Ping then claimed victory which was never given.
Bongo in October 2018, suffered a stroke in Riyadh, kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and was later ferried to Morocco where he spent many months on treatment.
While on his sick bed, a group of soldiers attempted a coup that was aborted.
Bongo before Friday’s appearance beyond the presidential palace, was always seen in recorded and edited televised speeches.
The opposition during the independence day, called for massive participation for people to observe their president’s physical health.
The president of the oil rich tiny central African country is not the only one to hold tight to power while in a poor health state.
Former Presidents of Algeria, Tunisia and Zimbabwe had almost the same problem.
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