The Senate of  Republic of Gabon

The current President of the Senate of Gabon is

Her Excellency Dr. Lucie Milebou-Aubusson (F) 

Overview on the Senate of Gabon

Historical background


The first initiative of creating a second chamber of parliament dates back to 1990, when the Gabon renewed with a multiparty system. But the bill to be considered by the Deputies of the 8th legislative period was rejected. Many arguments were used to justify the inappropriateness of the establishment of bicameralism in our institutional landscape.

However, in 1994, during the first session of the National Assembly related to the analysis of a bill on amending the Constitution of 26 March 1991, the Minister of Justice, Keeper of the Seals, Mr. Serge MBA BEKALE explained on behalf of the Government, the opportunity of this amendment.

According to him, it responds to the need of adapting the current Constitution in line with the evolution of national political life, mobilizing more energy of the nation to face the current and future challenges. The National Assembly adopted the amendment of the Constitution on March 18th, 1994, which consecrated the creation of a second chamber of Parliament. The Senate convened for the first time on March 10th, 1997.

Fifteen years after its establishment, the bicameral experience continues. The Senate is consolidated to the satisfaction of Local Authorities and the whole Nation of Gabon, especially as it participates actively in the implementation of the government Decentralization policy; senators being now at the center of this vast political, economic, cultural and social program.


Role within the institutions of the Republic.

According to Article 3 of the Constitution, "National sovereignty belongs to the people who exercise it directly through referendum and election, according to the principle of pluralist democracy, and indirectly through the constitutional institutions", among them is the Senate.

Section 4 in turn, states that suffrage may be direct or indirect but it is always universal, equal and secret.

Finally, Article 35 organizes this representation of the sovereign people through a parliament consisting of two chambers (the National Assembly and the Senate) and specifies that Deputies are elected for a five year term through direct universal suffrage and Senators for six year term through indirect universal suffrage.

Although elected by indirect suffrage, the Senate guarantees the representation of the people who hold the national sovereignty at the same level with the National Assembly.


Representing the local authorities under the Article 35 paragraph 3 of the Constitution, the Senate is first and by vocation the punctilious guardian of the independence of these local authorities in which a local democracy is progressively introduced. In this respect, the Senate has to exert constant pressure on the Government to ensure that they be granted their full autonomy and resources, particularly financial ones, in the full implementation of their duties. But it is in the safeguard of public freedoms and fundamental values ​​of Gabonese society that the Senate is also more concerned.

The Senate is a permanent assembly since senators cannot be sent back to their constituents before the end of their tenure. This permanence is the basis of stability of the Senate and justifies its place within the institutions of the Republic.


Indeed, unlike the National Assembly, the Senate cannot be dissolved, even in case of prolonged conflict with the Government. In return, it cannot overthrow the Government for any procedure or for any reason whatsoever.

The regulation of powers within the institutional system gives the Gabonese Senate, in the hierarchy of institutions, an essential place.

The Bureau of the Senate


The Bureau is headed by the President of the Senate including, in addition, six deputy-presidents, two secretaries and six Quaestors (Article 6 of the Rules and Regulation) who are elected at the same time with the President, by their colleagues for the duration of the legislative term through secret ballot (Article 40 paragraph 2 of the Constitution).

Although a collective body, the Bureau is composed of various categories of members who have clearly defined roles:

  1. President
    President of the Senate represents the Senate and the Bureau of the Senate. He is assisted by other members of the Bureau. He coordinates the direction and the control of all services of the Senate. He is the organizer of the budget. He chairs the meeting, directs the discussions. He is responsible for ensuring internal and external security of the Senate. For this purpose, he has the strength of law enforcement under his authority.


The current President of the Senate of Gabon is Her Excellency Mrs. Lucie Milebou-Aubusson (F) 

  1. The Deputy Presidents
    They assist the President in the exercise of the powers conferred upon and replace him in the absence or incapacity (Article 15 of the Regulation) or for the direction of the debate.

  2. The Quaestors.
    They are responsible, under the authority of the President of the Senate, of coordinating and controlling the management of financial services (Article 17 of the Rules of Regulation).

  3. The Secretaries.
    They oversee the drafting of the minutes of the meeting. They register the senators who ask to speak, supervise the roll calls, record the handing votes orsittingor standing votes and count them (Article 16 of the Regulation). In fact, they are the ones who assist the Chairman in organizing the votes and, as such, they append their signatures beside his signature to authenticate the Minutes of the meeting.

    The Senate Bureau has broad powers. As the governing body of the institution, it has all powers to direct the debates, to operate and organize services. It represents the Senate with other State institutions. It determines autonomously the rules of procedure, the rules of organization and operation of services of the Senate (article 12).
    It also has the power to authorize the lifting of parliamentary immunity outside the sessions, or to refer to the Constitutional Court in order to determine if a member is in a case of incompatibility.

The Presidents Conference
It is a management body consisted of:

- President of the Senate who directs the duties;
- Vice-Presidents of the Senate and all other officers;
- The chairmen of the standing committees;
- The presidents of parliamentary groups.
- Office Secretaries of the Senate and the Quaestors take part, but without right to deliberate (Article 38 of the Regulation).

The Conference of Presidents shall be convened by the President of the Senate at the beginning of each session and whenever it deems it necessary, in order to set the agenda of the work. This agenda includes first, the review of the bills, and secondly, the written and oral questions.

The Government is kept informed of the date and time of the Conference and can send a representative (Rule 39).

Finally, the Conference of Presidents determines the order of oral questions that senators want to ask members of the Government.


Standing Committees.
They have to examine matters in their field of competence.

At the beginning of the first ordinary session, the Senate constitutes the following 6 standing committees during plenary session:

- Standing Committee of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Defence

- Standing Committee for Law and Administrative Affairs

- Standing Committee for Finance, Budget and Economic Accounts of the Nation

- Standing Committee for Cultural, Social and Communication Affairs

- Standing Committee for Economic, Production and Exchange Affairs

- Standing Committee for Planning and Regional Development and Local Action.

Senators are divided among the 6 standing committees according to their preferences and skills. The Bureau of each Committee consists of a President, one or two Vice-President (s) and two or three Rapporteurs. The Vice-Presidents shall assist the President and replace him in his absence (Rule 26).

 Bills and private bills
Law No. 001/97 of 22 April 1997 on the amendment of the Constitution promotes the place of the President of the Senate on the Gabonese institutional stage.

According to Article 53 of the Constitution, the legislative initiative belongs concurrently to the Government and the Parliament.

  1. The initiative coming from the government (Bill).
    When the initiative comes from the Government, it is said a bill. Under Article 54 of the Constitution, "the bills are deliberated in the Council of Ministers, after consulting the Administrative Court, and deposited in the office of one of the two chambers of Parliament."

    This article raises two conditions form:

    - The Bill must be submitted for review to the Administrative Court. Indeed, the Administrative Court is not only the highest administrative court; it is also an adviser to the Government. Its opinions are advisory;

    - The Bill must be approved by the Council of Ministers to express the solidarity of all members of the Government towards him. Then it can be referred to one of the assemblies.

  2. The parliamentary initiative (Private Bill)
    When the initiative comes from Parliament, it is said a private bill.

    It can be made of any Deputy or Senator, each filing his/her proposal before the Chamber to which he belongs.

    The private bills must comply with 2 restrictions:

    - Pursuant to Article 55 paragraph 1 of the Constitution, the private bills and parliamentary amendments are inadmissible if their adoption would result in either a decrease in revenue, or creating or worsening public charge without releasing the same revenue;

    - Article 56 of the Constitution declares inadmissible proposals that do not respect the regulatory field. The article says this: "if it appears during the legislative process, that a text or an amendment is not in the field of law in the sense of the Article 47, or goes beyond the limits of legislative competence granted by the Government under section 52, the Prime Minister may raise the inadmissibility as well as the Speaker of the concerned Chamber, at the request of one-fifth of its members. In the event of disagreement, the case is referred to the Constitutional Court which rules on it within eight days. "


Address of the Senate of Gabon


Way: Boulevard Triumphal Omar Bongo Ondimba, Libreville-GABON
P.O.B: 7513 

People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria
H.E. Naam Miyara - chairman of The House of Councillors of the Kingdom of Morocco
H.E. Abdulwasie Yusuf Ali - Secretary General - The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Anwar Al-shoaybi - Director of Cultural and Social Affairs