Gabon. In July, Parliament adopted by a large majority a constitutional amendment enabling the country’s president to stand for re-election an unlimited number of times. According to the opposition, the constitutional change was aimed at allowing President Omar Bongo to remain the head of state. Bongo has ruled the former French colony since 1967, making him the second longest-serving head of state in Africa (after Gnassingbé Eyadema in Togo). However, he was formally elected for the first time in 1993 and has since been re-elected once. The next presidential election will be held in 2005.
According to Countryaah.com, Gabon Independence Day is August 16. Gabon highlighted claims on the island of Mbagne, just off the border between Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, by landing military there in response to neighboring country’s demands on the island. The waters around Mbagne are believed to be rich in oil.