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Gabon Junta Names Ndong Sima Transitional Prime Minister

(Bloomberg) -- Gabon’s military leader, Brice Oligui Nguema, appointed Raymond Ndong Sima as transitional prime minister, returning the economist to a position he held under deposed president Ali Bongo from 2012 to 2014.

The appointment of Sima, 68, was made public in a statement read on state television. Sima later became a critic of Bongo’s government and was a candidate in the 2016 elections and part of the opposition coalition in the 2023 polls challenging Bongo.

The country’s dollar bonds due 2031 were little changed Thursday after slumping a day earlier on Fitch Ratings’ decision to place the oil-rich country’s issuer rating on negative watch.

In his inaugural speech as transitional president on Sept. 4, Nguema pledged to establish a government that will include civilians with the goal of giving “everyone a reason to hope for a better life.” He plans a referendum on a new constitution, an overhaul of the OPEC member state’s electoral code and to restore civilian rule after an unspecified transition period.

The army, which seized power on Aug. 30, placed Bongo under house arrest and annulled an election that handed him a third term. Bongo was later freed.

(Updates with eurobond movement in third paragraph.)

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