Jean-Hilaire Aubame (10 November 1912 – 16 August 1989) was a Gabonese politician active during both the colonial and independence periods. The French journalist Pierre Péan said that Aubame's training "as a practicing Catholic and a customs official helped to make him an integrated man, one of whom political power was not an end in itself."
Born into a Fang family, Aubame was orphaned at a young age. He was raised by the stepbrother of Léon M'ba, who became Aubame's chief political rival. Encouraged by his colleagues, Aubame entered politics, serving as Gabon's first representative in the National Assembly of France from 1946 to 1958. Aubame was also a leader in solving African problems, particularly developing the Gabonese standard of living and planning urban sites. Aubame's quick rise in Gabonese politics was spurred by the support of the missions and administration, whereas much of M'ba's strength came from the colonists.
Paul Marie Indjendjet Gondjout (4 June 1912 – 1 July 1990) was a Gabonese politician and civil servant, and the father of Laure Gondjout, another prominent Gabonese politician. Gondjout was a member of the Mpongwe ethnic group, and served in the French colonial administration from 1928, and founded the Cercle amical et mutualiste des évolués de Port-Gentil in 1943. He was a delegate to the French Senate from 1949 to 1958, and founded the Gabonese Democratic Bloc (BDG). In 1954, Léon M'ba joined the party and eventually overthrew Gondjout as leader.
In 1960, then President M'ba reshuffled the government without consulting Parliament. When Gondjout filed a motion of censure he was charged with attempting a coup d'état and sentenced to two years in prison. Following his release, M'ba appointed him to the largely symbolic post of President of the Economic Council, in part to silence the threat he represented.
Gondjout served as Minister of State during the abortive 1964 Gabon coup d'état but was acquitted of all charges during his subsequent trial. He lived outside public view from his 1966 acquittal to his death on 1 July 1990 and there is little record of his life during this period.
El Hadj Omar Bongo Ondimba (30 December 1935 – 8 June 2009), born as Albert-Bernard Bongo, was a Gabonese politician who was President of Gabon for 42 years from 1967 until his death in office in 2009.
Omar Bongo was promoted to key positions as a young official under Gabon's first President Leon M'ba in the 1960s, before being elevated to Vice-President from 1966 to 1967, eventually succeeding M'ba to become Gabon's second President upon the latter's death in 1967.
Bongo headed the single-party regime of the Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG) until 1990, when he was forced to introduce multi-party politics in Gabon in the face of great public pressure. He then survived intense opposition to his rule in the early 1990s, succeeding in consolidating power again mainly by bringing most of the major opposition leaders of the 1990s over to his side. He was re-elected in extremely controversial 1993 presidential election, and again in the subsequent elections of 1998 and 2005, with his respective majorities increasing and the opposition becoming more subdued on each election. After Cuban President Fidel Castro stepped down in February 2008, Bongo became the world's longest-serving non-monarch ruler.
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