More than thirty years after independence, Gabon is still deemed by some to be the most Francophile of all France's former colonies. This compact and competent overview assesses the past and future of Gabon's economic, political and cultural dependency, its efforts in the 1980s to exploit Franco-American competition and its current tentative moves toward political liberalization. There seems to be little evidence so far to suggest that democratization can succeed under the leadership of president Albert Bongo, whose long-autocratic rule has brought the country political stability at a high price in rights and liberties. The author believes that Gabon's ethnic and political realities make a consociational system the best future constitutional option.
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