A group of Gabon military officers announced that they had dismantled state institutions and placed President Bongo under house arrest. Gunshots were heard in the capital, Libreville.
The televised announcement came shortly after state election officials announced that incumbent Ali Bongo had won a third term as president.
Officials speaking to state-run Gabon 24 TV said they represented all of the Central African country’s security and defense forces.
They said the election results were null and void, all borders were closed and state institutions were dissolved until further notice.
Loud gunshots were heard in the capital Libreville, news agencies Reuters and AFP reported after a television appearance.
No comments were available at this time from the deposed government officials. Coup leaders said Bongo, 64, who was last seen in a popular vote on Saturday, is now under house arrest.
Bongo’s son and aide Nurreddin Bongo Valentin, his chief of staff Ian Ghislain Ngouroux and his lieutenants, two other presidential advisers, and two senior officials of the ruling Democratic Party of Gabon (PDG) were “arrested. ‘ said the military leader.
They face charges including treason, embezzlement, corruption and forging the president’s signature.
Soldiers introduced themselves as members of the Transition and Institutional Recovery Committee. State bodies they declared dissolved included the government, the Senate, the National Assembly, the Constitutional Court, and the Electoral Commission.
Tensions rose in Gabon over fears of riots after Mr Bongo’s president, parliament and parliament voted Saturday to extend his family’s 56-year reign, but opposition urged changes in the oil industry.
Bongo was a candidate for the Democratic Party of Gabon (PDG), founded by his father Omar Bongo, who led Gabon from 1967 until his 2009. After his death, his son, then secretary of defense, became president and has been in power ever since.