Casimir Marie Ange Oyé-Mba (born 20 April 1942) is a Gabonese politician. After serving as Governor of the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) from 1978 to 1990, Oyé-Mba was Prime Minister of Gabon from 3 May 1990 to 2 November 1994. Subsequently he remained in the government as Minister of State for Foreign Affairs from 1994 to 1999, Minister of State for Planning from 1999 to 2007, and Minister of State for Mines and Oil from 2007 to 2009.
Early life and financial career
A member of the Fang ethnic group, Casimir Oyé-Mba was born in Nzamaligué, located in the Komo-Mondah Department of Estuaire Province. His father trained to become a Catholic priest under Marcel Lefebvre, but was dismissed from the seminary. He joined the Central Bank of the States of Equatorial Africa and Cameroon (BCEAEC) in January 1968; in January 1970, he became deputy director of its agency in Libreville, Gabon, and in April 1970 he became director of the Libreville agency. In 1973, when the BCEAEC became the Bank of Central African States (BEAC), Oyé-Mba became its National Director for Gabon, and in January 1977 he became Assistant Director-General of BEAC at its headquarters in Yaoundé, Cameroon. In April 1978, he became Governor of BEAC, remaining in this post until 1990.
Following the 1990 National Conference in Gabon, Oyé-Mba was appointed as Prime Minister of Gabon on 27 April 1990. In the parliamentary election held later in 1990, he won a seat in the National Assembly from Komo-Mondah Department in Estuaire Province, and following the election he was retained as Prime Minister in November 1990. In the December 1993 presidential election, which was won by incumbent President Omar Bongo, Oyé-Mba was Bongo's campaign manager; following the election, he resigned on 11 March 1994, but Bongo reappointed him on 13 March, and a new government headed by Oyé-Mba was named on 25 March. Following the signing of an agreement with the opposition later that year, Oyé-Mba and his government resigned on 11 October 1994 and were replaced by a new coalition government headed by Paulin Obame-Nguema on 2 November. Oyé-Mba was included in Obame-Nguema's government as Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, and he served in that position until January 1999. He then became Minister of State for Planning, Development Programming and Regional Planning in the government of Prime Minister Jean-François Ntoutoume Emane on 25 January 1999.
He was re-elected to the National Assembly in the December 1996 parliamentary election and in the December 2001 parliamentary election. In the December 2002 municipal elections, he was elected as a member of the city council in Ntoum.
In the December 2006 parliamentary election, Oyé-Mba again won a seat in the National Assembly as the PDG candidate in Ntoum constituency; he retained his position in the government after that election. Later, after nearly nine years as Minister of State for Planning, Oyé-Mba was moved to the position of Minister of State for Mines, Petroleum, Oil, Energy, Water Resources and the Promotion of New Energies in the government that was named on 28 December 2007.
2009 presidential candidacy
Following the death of President Bongo on 8 June 2009, Oyé-Mba—a member of the PDG Political Bureau—was one of ten PDG members who submitted applications to stand as the party's candidate in the early presidential election scheduled for 30 August 2009. Although he was considered one of the leading contenders, in mid-July 2009 Bongo's son Ali-Ben Bongo was chosen as the PDG candidate instead. Having failed to obtain the nomination, Oyé-Mba announced that he would instead run as an independent presidential candidate on 21 July; he questioned the circumstances of Bongo's selection and said that he wanted to be "the true candidate of consensus". He was then excluded from the government that was appointed on 22 July 2009, after 19 years of continuous service.
The Patriotic United Forces (FPU), an opposition group, announced on 29 July 2009 that it was supporting Oyé-Mba's candidacy. It described him as a "man of integrity, peace, and experience" and "the true candidate of consensus". Speaking in Libreville on 9 August, Oyé-Mba said that he would focus on fighting youth unemployment if he was elected and he said that "if young people no longer trust politicians, it is because of a sense that they have often been betrayed".
During campaigning for the election, Oyé-Mba criticized the uneven distribution of wealth in Gabon: "60 percent of Gabonese live below the vital minimum income threshold ... and only two percent of the population really benefits from the wealth of our country". He stressed the importance of improving governance. During his campaign, which stressed his long experience, Oyé-Mba also called for more road construction (100 kilometers per year), saving money by reducing the number of ministers in the government, and reinstating the two-term limit on the Presidency.
Oyé-Mba withdrew his candidacy on election day, citing his concerns about the possibility of violence. Despite his withdrawal, he placed fifth, with 0.92% of the vote, according to results released by the Constitutional Court on 4 September 2009.
On 30 December 2009, the planned creation of a new, united opposition party was announced, and Oyé-Mba was among the various opposition leaders participating in it. Oyé-Mba then joined the Gabonese Union for Democracy and Development (UGDD), an opposition party led by Zacharie Myboto, and the UGDD merged with two other parties to create a unified opposition party, the National Union. At the party's launch on 10 February 2010, Oyé-Mba was designated as one of five Vice-Presidents.
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- "Gabonese opposition forms new party", AFP, 10 February 2010.
- "Politique : Naissance d'un nouveau parti de l'opposition", AGP, 11 February 2010 (French).
- Official campaign website (French)
|Foreign Minister of Gabon