November 27, 2018 / 6:49 PM / 17 days ago

Gabon's Bongo headed to Morocco to continue recovery: wife

FILE PHOTO: Gabon's President Ali Bongo Ondimba addresses a meeting on climate change at the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and the Government of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia January 29, 2018. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri/File Photo

DAKAR (Reuters) - Gabon’s President Ali Bongo will leave Saudi Arabia, where he was hospitalized last month after suffering a stroke, to continue treatment in Morocco, his wife said on Tuesday.

Bongo has not been seen in public since being admitted to hospital during a conference on Oct. 24. Gabon’s top court ruled earlier this month that the vice president would chair the cabinet in Bongo’s absence.

In a post on her Facebook page, Sylvia Bongo wrote that her husband’s health had improved significantly and that he would travel to Rabat on Wednesday.

“To pursue his convalescence, the president, in concertation with his close family, has decided to accept the proposal of his brother, His Majesty the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI,” she said.

Bongo has asked advisers from the presidency to join him in Rabat to consult on affairs of state, his wife added.

The Bongo family has ruled the oil-producing country for nearly half a century. Bongo has been president since succeeding his father, Omar, who died in 2009. His re-election in 2016 was marred by claims of fraud and violent protest.

Reporting By Aaron Ross; Editing by Richard Balmforth

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