The health of Gabon’s President Ali Ben Bongo greatly improved and he is recovering his physical abilities, his office said, after sources said he suffered a stroke.
Bongo was admitted to hospital on October 24 in Saudi Arabia after the stroke, sources said, with Gabonese authorities saying he was fatigued. a TV station in Gabon was banned for reporting he died.
The Bongo family has ruled for nearly half a century in Gabon, a country producing oil and was a French colony before independence. Bongo has been president after succeeding his father, Omar, who died in 2009.
Opposition leader Jean Ping last weekend re-opened a row over the disputed 2016 election, which Bongo narrowly won on a 95% result in the Bongo family stronghold, which recorded a turnout of over 99%. Riots erupted after results were announced.
“The state of health of His Excellency Mr Ali Bongo Ondimba, President of the Republic and head of state, has greatly improved,” a presidency statement read out on state TV by his spokesman Ike Ngouoni said.
“This positive developmen accelerated significantly in recent days. Today the President of the Republic is in the process of recovering all his physical abilities.”
The statement said nothing about a stroke but said he had “bleeding which required medical care.”
“Ali Bongo Ondimba continues to carry out his duties. The institutions of our Republic function perfectly in strict respect of the constitution,” it said.