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.
President of the Republic
The President of the Republic is the head of state elected by universal suffrage for a renewable seven-year term.
Ali Bongo Ondimba, the third President of the Republic of Gabon, was elected President on 16 October 2009.
The President of the Republic ensures observance of the Constitution and, by arbitration, the effective functioning of the government and the continuity of the state. He defines, in cooperation with the government, national policy. He is the supreme holder of executive power, which he shares with the Prime Minister.
The Constitutional Court is the state's highest court for all constitutional matters.
It rules on the constitutional validity of laws and guarantees fundamental human rights and public freedoms. It is the regulatory body overseeing the functioning of government institutions and the activity of public authorities.
The Constitutional Court is duty bound to rule upon:
Disputes over the validity of an election are referred to the Constitutional Court by any voter, candidate, political party or government representative under the terms of the applicable organic law.
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.
Raymond Ndong Sima was appointed Prime Minister on 28 February 2012.
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 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. 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.
In 1997, a constitutional review created a Senate responsible for representing local authorities.
Court of Cassation
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.
Council of State
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.
Court of Auditors
The Court of Auditors is responsible for overseeing public finances.