Browse the listing below to find government information for Gabon, including flags, leaders,
and constitution information. Factrover also has complete information on Gabon at its
Gabon Country Page.
Independence: August 17, 1960.
Constitution: February 21, 1961 (revised April 15, 1975; rewritten March 26, 1991; revised July 29, 2003).
Branches: Executive--president (head of state).
Legislative--bicameral legislature (National Assembly and Senate). Government--prime minister and appointed Council of Ministers (current government of 40 appointed January 2002). Judicial--Supreme Court.
Administrative subdivisions: 9 provinces, 37 prefectures, and 9 subprefectures.
Political parties (including number of seats in 120-member Assembly elected in 2001-02: Parti Democratique Gabonais (PDG-88), Rassemblement National Des Bucherons-Rassemblement pour le Gabon (RNB-RPG-8), Parti Gabonais Du Progres (PGP-3), Independents and other parties--24.
Suffrage: Universal, direct.
Central government budget (2001 est.): Receipts--$1.6 billion; expenses--$1.2 billion; defense (1999)--3.0% of government budget.
Under the 1961 constitution (revised in 1975 and rewritten in 1991), Gabon became a republic with a presidential form of government. The National Assembly has 120 deputies elected for a 5-year term. The president is elected by universal suffrage for a 7-year term. The president appoints the prime minister, the cabinet, and judges of the independent Supreme Court. In 1990 the government in 1990 made major changes to the political system. A transitional constitution was drafted in May as an outgrowth of a national political conference in March-April and later revised by a constitutional committee. Among its provisions were a Western-style bill of rights; creation of a National Council of Democracy to oversee the guarantee of those rights; a governmental advisory board on economic and social issues; and an independent judiciary. After approval by the National Assembly, the PDG Central Committee and the president, the Assembly unanimously adopted the constitution in March 1991. Multiparty legislative elections were held in 1990-91, despite the fact that opposition parties had not been declared formally legal.
After a peaceful transition, the elections produced the first representative, multiparty National Assembly. In January 1991, the Assembly passed by unanimous vote a law governing the legalization of opposition parties. The president was re-elected in a disputed election in 1993 with 51% of votes cast. Social and political disturbances led to the 1994 Paris Conference and Accords, which provided a framework for the next elections. Local and legislative elections were delayed until 1996-97. In 1997 constitutional amendments were adopted to create an appointed Senate, the position of vice president, and to extend the president's term to 7 years. Facing a divided opposition, President Bongo was re-elected in December 1998, with 66% of the votes cast. Although the main opposition parties claimed the elections had been manipulated, there was none of the civil disturbance that followed the 1993 election. The president retains strong powers, such as authority to dissolve the National Assembly, declare a state of siege, delay legislation, conduct referenda, and appoint and dismiss the prime minister and cabinet members. Peaceful though flawed legislative elections in 2001-02 produced a new National Assembly dominated by the president's party and its allies. Observers expect Bongo to run again for reelection in 2005. For administrative purposes, Gabon is divided into 9 provinces, which are further divided into 36 prefectures and 8 separate subprefectures. The president appoints the provincial governors, the prefects, and the subprefects.