Gabon parliament speaker resigns in new blow to president

LIBREVILLE, Jumada II 23, 1437, April 01, 2016, SPA — Gabon’s long-serving parliament speaker stepped down abruptly on Thursday in the latest sign of eroding support within the ruling party for President Ali Bongo before elections in the Central African oil producer later this year, according to Reuters.

The resignation of Guy Nzouba Ndama, who has headed the National Assembly for nearly two decades, brought to the surface an increasingly strained relationship between Bongo and a legislature dominated by his Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG).

Bongo won a disputed election in 2009 after the death of his father, longtime leader Omar Bongo, and is now nearing the end of his first seven-year term in office.

He announced his intention to seek re-election late last month, even before the PDG confirmed his candidacy at a party convention, a move that irked many long-standing party cadres.

Gabon’s election is expected to take place in August.

01:21 LOCAL TIME 22:21 GMT