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Assemblée nationale (National Assembly)

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Parliament name (generic / translated) Parlement / Parliament
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name (generic / translated) Assemblée nationale / National Assembly
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Sénat / Senate
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 17 December 2011
Purpose of elections Elections were held for all the seats in the National Assembly on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.
The 2011 elections were the first to be held under President Ali Bongo Ondimba. At stake were 120 seats in the National Assembly.

In the previous elections held in December 2006, the Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG) of the then President Omar Bongo Ondimba took 82 of the 120 seats at stake. Its allies, including the Rally for Gabon (RPG), took an additional 18 seats and four independent pro-presidential candidates were elected. The opposition parties - including the Union of the Gabonese People (UPG) and the Gabonese Union for Democracy and Development (UGDD) - took the remaining 16 seats.

In June 2009, President Omar Bongo Ondimba passed away. Senate President Rose Francine Rogombé became Acting President. In August, the late president's son, Ali (PDG), won the presidential elections, defeating among others Mr. André Mba Obame (a former PDG member who ran as independent) and UPG leader Pierre Mamboundou, who was supported by a five-party opposition coalition, the Alliance for Change and Restoration (ACR).

The opposition candidates protested, arguing that the elections had been rigged, but the Constitutional Court subsequently validated the results. In October, Mr. Bongo was officially sworn in.

Mr. Mba Obame subsequently joined the UGDD. In February 2010, the UGDD formed the "National Union" with several other opposition parties. Mr. Mba Obame won a seat in the by-elections to the National Assembly held the same month.

On 25 January 2011, Mr. Mba Obame declared himself winner of the 2009 presidential elections, urging his supporters to take to the streets and demand that President Bongo step down. Limited marches in his support were repelled by the police and security troops. The following day, the Interior Ministry disbanded the National Union with immediate effect for breach of the Constitution, tantamount to high treason. Mr. Mba Obame subsequently took refuge in a UN office in Libreville. In May, the authorities ordered Mr. Mba Obame's arrest on treason charges. On 5 May, the National Assembly voted to lift his parliamentary immunity.

The opposition continued to call for biometrics to be used in the future elections to ensure greater transparency in the electoral process. In April 2011, the President held a consultation with opposition and civil society representatives on the deferral of the parliamentary elections in view of introducing biometric electoral cards. The UPG argued in favour of the deferral. The following month, Prime Minister Paul Biyoghé Mba (PDG) petitioned the Constitutional Court for the postponement of the elections to 2012. In June, the Constitutional Court stated that it was unable to make a ruling because the government and the National Assembly had not implemented the measures that must precede the introduction of biometric data, such as a law setting limits on the use of information technology. In August, the President announced that elections would be held in 2011 in accordance with the Court ruling. On 6 October, the Election Commission announced that they would be held on 17 December.

The UPG and members of the now-defunct National Union subsequently withdrew from the Election Commission and continued to call for the introduction of biometric electoral cards. In parallel, civil society groups formed a loose movement called "That's enough now! " and campaigned for the election to be postponed under the slogan, "No biometrics, no transparency, no elections". Several opposition parties, including the UPG, filed a petition for the postponement of the elections with the Constitutional Court, claiming that the 2011 election date had been set before the publication of the electoral law. The Court rejected the petition on 31 October.

In the meantime, on 15 October, UPG leader Mamboundou passed away. The UPG-led ACR subsequently announced that it would take part in the elections. However, the ACR's campaign was less visible in the absence of its former flag-bearer. Several other opposition parties also conducted low-key campaigns.

Several pro-presidential parties - including the PDG, the RPG, the Circle of Liberal Reformers (CLR) and the Independent Centre Party of Gabon (PGCI) - formed a coalition called the Republican Majority for Emergence (MRE). In all, 472 candidates were running.

President Ali Bongo's PDG ran on the government's record, claiming that a number of reforms and anti-corruption measures taken under his government had helped make Gabonese companies more competitive. The President pledged to diversify the country's oil-dependent economy and attract more foreign investment to develop the economy.

In all, 34.28 per cent of the nearly 750,000 registered voters turned out at the polls. No major incidents were reported on polling day.

Observers from the African Union stated the elections had been "credible" while noting several shortcomings such as the absence of party representatives in some polling stations.

The final results gave 113 seats to the PDG, which thus recorded its highest score since the country introduced multi-party elections in 1990. Its allies in the MRE took a total of five seats. . Only two opposition parties entered the National Assembly: the Union for the New Republic (UPNR) and the Social Democratic Party (PSD), which took one seat each.

On 27 February 2012, the newly elected National Assembly held its first session and re-elected Mr. Guy Nzouba-Ndama (PDG) as its Speaker.
Voter turnout
Round no 117 December 2011
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
255'570 (34.28%)

Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG)
Rally for Gabon (RPG)
Circle of Liberal Reformers (CLR)
Union for the new Republic (UPNR)
Social Democrat Party (PSD)
Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG) - Independent Centre Party of Gabon (PGCI)
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total
Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG) 107
Rally for Gabon (RPG) 3
Circle of Liberal Reformers (CLR) 1
Union for the new Republic (UPNR) 1
Social Democrat Party (PSD) 1
Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG) - Independent Centre Party of Gabon (PGCI) 1
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
National Assembly (13.01.2012, 22.02.2012, 12.03.2012, 01.01.2014, 01.01.2015, 01.01.2017)
BBC Monitoring

Note on the number of women
- As at 22 February 2012, there were 15 women out of 113 members, and seven vacant seats. The mandate of one more PDG member was subsequently validated, giving the PDG 107 seats in all.
- Several members were subsequently replaced by their substitute. As at 12 March, there were 18 women out of 114 members, and six vacant seats.

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