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Omar Bongo

(El Hadj) Omar Bongo (formerly Albert-Bernard Bongo) is the President of Gabon and has ruled since 1967. He was born in 1935 and took office upon the death of Léon M'ba. He ended the one-party domination of the Parti Démocratique Gabonaise and allowed multiparty elections; however, a non-independent judiciary and widespread corruption and patronage limit the ability of citizens to effectively change the government. He won elections in 1993 and 1998 in response to popular demand.

Bongo's wife is the daughter of Congolese president Denis Sassou-Nguesso. Bongo is also one of the wealthiest heads of state in the world, and this is attributed mainly to oil revenue and corruption.