CountryFacts.com > Gabon
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Gabon
Capital:
Libreville
Population:
1,355,246
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2004 est.)
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Background:
Only two autocratic presidents have ruled Gabon since independence from France in 1960. Gabon's current President, El Hadj Omar BONGO - one of the longest-serving heads of state in the world - has dominated Gabon's political scene for almost four decades. President BONGO introduced a nominal multiparty system and a new constitution in the early 1990s. However, the low turnout and allegations of electoral fraud during the most recent local elections in 2002-03 have exposed the weaknesses of formal political structures in Gabon. In addition, recent strikes have underscored the popular disenchantment with the political system. Presidential elections scheduled for 2005 are unlikely to bring change since the opposition remains weak, divided, and financially dependent on the current regime. Despite political conditions, a small population, abundant natural resources, and considerable foreign support have helped make Gabon one of the more prosperous and stable African countries.
Government type:
republic; multiparty presidential regime (opposition parties legalized in 1990)
GDP:
purchasing power parity - $7.301 billion (2003 est.)
Internet users:
35,000 (2003)
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