Human RightsNews

#COVID19 : Legal War Between Gabon Govt And Constitutional Court Rages On

The legal battle between the government of Gabon and the country’s Constitutional Court continues.

The legal battle between the government of Gabon and the country’s Constitutional Court continues with the court once again suspending a decision by the government  re-imposing anti-COVID-19 strict measures that had been suspended by the Constitutional Court on Dec. 24, 2021.

The imbroglio between the government and the Constitutional Court began on Dec. 15,  when the court ruled in favour of a civil society

organisation, COPIL CITOYEN, which had prayed the court to nullify a government 

decision to impose new  anti-coronavirus barrier measures effective Dec. 15.

The contentious parts of the measures include the obligatory presentation of health passes such as an anti-COVID-19 vaccination card and PCR test results before being granted access to public offices as well as the  very high cost of the tests which rose from being free of charge to 20,000 FCFA (about 40 US dollars) for ordinary tests and from 20,000 FCFA to 50,000 FCFA (about 100 US dollars) for VIP tests.

In the face of the government’s determination to force the measures down the throats of the citizens, the Constitutional Court on Dec. 24, reiterated its decision to suspend the  anti-coronavirus measures imposed by the government.

However, on the same day the Constitutional Court ordered the suspension of the measures after having declared them unconstitutional, the government re-imposed them by Arrete number 0685/PM of December 24, 2021.

On Tuesday, Dec. 28, the Constitutional Court 

presided by its president, Marie Madeleine Mborantsuo, once again declared the measures contained in the Dec. 24, 2021 Prime Ministerial Arrete number 0685/PM as 

unconstitutional and ordered that they be suspended by the government.

Citing Article 85 of the country’s Constitution, the Constitutional Court agreed with COPIL CITOYEN that the measures were a threat to freedom.

The Constitutional Court decision has been forwarded to several national institutions concerned with ensuring the respect of the constitution and legal decisions with the intention of obliging them to ensure the execution of the court order.

The Gabonese national community has since  been holding its breath to see whether the government is still going to sweep the decision of the Constitutional Court under the mat as it did that of Dec. 24.

Meta COVID-19, Gabon and the country’s Constitutional Court 


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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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