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Gabon’s ailing leader meets, reassures officials on health

LIBREVILLE, Gabon — Gabon’s government has broadcast new images of its ailing head of state, President Ali Bongo Ondimba, in his second public appearance since his hospitalization in Saudi Arabia in October and transfer to Morocco last week for convalescence.

The broadcast late Tuesday shows the 59-year-old, seated in profile, receiving a Gabonese delegation.

Prime Minister Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet spoke upon his return, saying Bongo is conscious and sees and speaks well. He said leaders were reassured by the visit.

Vice President Pierre Claver Maganga Moussavou said they are ruling out any article on vacancy of power.

Gabon’s government has said Bongo suffered dizziness, but some media reports suggested he’d had a stroke.

Bongo has ruled the oil-rich Central African nation since 2009, assuming power in a contested election after his father’s death.