(El Hadj Omar Bongo Ondimba)
, 1935, Gabonese political leader, president of Gabon (1967), born Albert-Bernard Bongo. He entered the civil service (1958), became minister of information and tourism in 1966, vice president in 1967, and then succeeded to the presidency. He created a one-party state (1968) and was reelected in 1973, 1979, and 1986. His rule has provided stability and attracted foreign investment, but protests forced him to reinstate a multiparty system in 1990. Bongo was reelected in 1993 and 1998 in elections generally regarded as unfair by observers; he triumphed over a divided opposition again in 2005.