UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


Gabon - Government

Gabon is a republic with a presidential form of government. The Republic of Gabon is governed by the Constitution of 26 March 1991, enacted by Act 3/91 and amended by the Acts of 18 March 1994, 29 September 1995, 22 April 1997, 11 October 2000 and 19 August 2003.

The president is elected by universal suffrage for a 7-year term; a 2003 constitutional amendment removed presidential term limits and facilitated a presidency for life. The President of the Republic is the Head of State; he ensures that the Constitution is upheld; through arbitration, he guarantees the smooth running of the authorities and the continuity of the State. He is responsible for national independence, the country's integrity and compliance with agreements and treaties. In consultation with the government, he determines the Nation's policies. He is the supreme holder of the executive power, which he shares with the Prime Minister.

The president can appoint and dismiss the prime minister, the cabinet, and judges of the independent Supreme Court. The president also has other strong powers, such as authority to dissolve the National Assembly, declare a state of siege, delay legislation, and conduct referenda.

The government implements national policies under the authority of and in cooperation with the President of the Republic. To achieve this purpose, it has the civil service and the defence and security forces. The government is accountable to the President of the Republic and the National Assembly according to the terms and procedures laid down in the Constitution of Gabon. The government comprises the Prime Minister and other members of government. The Prime Minister is the head of the government.

The country has a bicameral legislature with a National Assembly and Senate. Legislative power is represented by a parliament of two chambers: the National Assembly and the Senate. Members of the National Assembly hold the title deputy. They are elected by direct universal suffrage for a five-year term. Members of the Senate hold the title of senator. They are elected by indirect universal suffrage for a six-year term. The Assembly has 120 deputies, elected for a term of office, lasting, as a rule, five years. It may be cut short in the event that the President of the Republic dissolves the Assembly. The Constitution gives the National Assembly a prominent position in the development of legislation and in government oversight. It shares legislative power with the Senate, but in cases where the two chambers disagree on a piece of legislation, the National Assembly may be called to rule alone in the last resort. In addition, only the National Assembly has the power to pass a vote of no confidence in the government and only the National Assembly can be dissolved by the President of the Republic. In 1997, a constitutional review created a Senate responsible for representing local authorities. The Senate is composed of 102 members who are elected by municipal councils and regional assemblies and serve for 6 years. The President of the Senate is next in succession to the President.

Justice is dispensed on behalf of the Gabonese people by the Constitutional Court, the Court of Cassation, the Council of State, the Court of Accounts, the Courts of Appeal, the Provincial Courts, the High Court and the other special courts of law. Justice is an authority that is independent of the legislative power and the executive power.

The Court of Cassation is the highest court for all civil, commercial, social and criminal matters. It is divided into civil, commercial, social and criminal chambers. Each division deliberates separately according to their ground of jurisdiction. The Court of Cassation may hold joint sessions under conditions laid down in the law. Rulings have the force of res judicata. The Council of State is the state's highest court for administrative matters. The rulings of the Council of State have the force of res judicata.

The constituent elements of the judicial power are as follows:

  • The Constitutional Court;
  • The Court of Cassation is the highest authority for civil, commercial, social and criminal cases. It is divided into civil, commercial, social and criminal chambers;
  • The Council of State is the state's highest authority for administrative issues;
  • The Court of Accounts is responsible for controlling public finance.
In this role, it:
  • Checks that the financial laws are enforced and notifies Parliament and the government accordingly;
  • Verifies that the expenditures and revenues declared in public service accounting are in order and uses the said public service accounting to ensure that the credits, funds and securities managed by the state's departments or public companies are used correctly;
  • Checks the accounts and management of public companies and semi-public undertakings;
  • Audits the accounts of chartered accountants;
  • Certifies and audits instances of de facto management;
  • Penalizes any management faults committed against the state, local authorities and organisations under its control.

The High Court of Justiciary is a non-permanent jurisdiction of exception 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.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list

Page last modified: 06-09-2016 10:44:30 ZULU