René Radembino Coniquet: the irremovable secretary general of the Gabonese presidency

No one can question the fidelity and loyalty of a man who swears allegiance to his ideals and to those who provide him with assistance to achieve his ends, despite his political or social affiliation. But the notion of democracy nevertheless lays the foundations for a relevant and permanent questioning as to the posture to adopt. Political regimes very often dependent on men and women of confidence who, according to the divergent opinions of a society, are in error or in adequacy with the era of time.

The management of the city is based on strong and considered positions at the discretion of unfavorable and binding judgments. Political life is thus developed but only history is omnipresent, witness to the place and consideration that a political actor will occupy in the minds of the plebs who constitute a Republic. As in many countries around the world, the States of Africa and especially those of Central Africa were very often punctuated by the existence of a bipartite adversity apart from the autocratic periods which knew an ideological and constitutional breathlessness following to the changing world.

Read also >>> Réné Radembino Coniquet, former President of the Senate is no longer

In Gabon, the Gabonese Democratic Block (BDG) and the Gabonese Social and Democratic Union (USDG) were the two main political groups to organize political life. After the death of President Léon Mba Minko, his successor, Albert-Bernard Bongo, ruled the country with an iron fist, imposing a one-party regime characterized by oppression and corruption. With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the arrival of French Socialist President François Mitterrand as well as the end of the Cold War, several African leader-dictators once again established democracy. But these harmful policies of autocracy have been maintained by men “instruments” who over the years have shown common sense and repartee, becoming for many “wise” of national policy. René Radembino Coniquet (1932-2014) was one of them.


René Radembino Coniquet was born on June 26, 1932 in the city of Libreville. His mother was of Mpongwè ethnicity and his father, who was of French nationality, never admits to being his progenitor, which is why he considered himself entirely Gabonese. He grew up in Toulon, a village located on the outskirts of Libreville and become a district in its own right of the capital. This is where he considered himself to be entirely Gabonese. Father of seven children, he was also married in civil status.


At the age of eight, the young Radembino Conique began his school education by starting primary school. In 1949. He obtained his Certificate of Elementary Primary Studies (CEPE). Subsequently in 1950, he joined Brazzaville to study at the School of Senior Staff of French Equatorial Africa and was awarded a diploma. In 1958, René Radembino Coniquet then flew to France and studied at the National School of Overseas France (ENFOM).

Became the Institut des Hautes Etudes d’Outre-Mer (IHEOM) in 1959, it was following the adoption of the Gaston Deferre framework law that the principle of the Africanization of the executives of the colonial administration was adopted. set to music. The mission of this school was therefore to train executives of the French administration, in particular administrators, labor inspectors and magistrates. There, he received the civil administrator’s certificate in the municipal finance and planning specialty.

Return to Africa and political career

Back on his native continent, René Radembino Coniquet joined the ranks of the colonial administration and worked there at the local police department in the office of the Commissioner of French Equatorial Africa (AEF) with the function of middle manager in charge immigration. He attended the first Gabonese legislative elections as a civil administrator as well as the presidential election which saw Leon Mba win. His country having gained independence in 1960, President Mba launches an appeal to the “instruments” and “cadres” of the country, not in large numbers in these times.

The time has come for the construction of the new Republic. René Radembino Coniquet like many other Gabonese returned to the country. He was then sent to the Ministry of Finance and held the post of deputy director. He was subsequently deputy prefect of Haut-Ogooué province and prefect of Ngounié province. In 1963, Léon invited him to join him in the presidency to entrust him with the post of adviser to the president in charge of African and Malagasy affairs in addition to secretary general of the council of ministers.

Three years later, Léon Mba appointed him secretary general of the government. Albert-Bernard Bongo succeeds President Léon Mba and decides to attach himself to the new services of René Radembino Coniquet who remained faithful and close to Léon Mba until his death; it must be said that the two men knew each other well because they had repeatedly worked together for the presidency during the reign of Mba. He returned to the presidency in 1968 following his appointment as secretary general of the presidency; It was this year that he joined the ranks of the Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG).

Five years later, he became Minister of State, but President Bongo again called on him for the presidency. He made him his advisor and gave him back the management of the secretariat of the presidency. From 1973 to 1994, René Radembino Coniquet combined these two functions and was called upon to assert his right to retirement after more than thirty years in the service of Presidents Léon Mba and Albert Bongo. Subsequently, he was also Chairman of the Board of Directors (PCA) of several parastatal companies on several occasions.

His life in the Senate

In 1997, René Radembino Coniquet was invested by the Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG) to be its candidate for the senatorial election of the same year to represent the said political formation in the southern suburbs of Libreville precisely in the municipality of Owendo. Six years later, he became the new president of the upper house of parliament after the death of Georges Rawiri. René Radembino Coniquet obtains 95.56% of the votes of his peers; 86 votes “for”, 2 votes “against” and 2 abstentions out of a total of 90 voters, only one not having voted.

His accession to the presidency of the Gabonese senate makes him number 2 in the regime and in the Republic because in the event of a vacancy in the presidency, the constitution provides that it is the president of this institution who acts as interim and organizes the elections. who will choose the next head of state. He will remain the boss of the upper house of parliament for three years but was replaced in this position due to the disappearance of President Omar Bongo, now Omar Bongo Ondimba.

Mea-culpa or republican start?

In 2009, René Radembino Coniquet published a work which appeared by Raponda Walker editions “ King’s Island, a Gabonese itinerary: interview with Flavien Enongoué “. This novel is a biographical work made up of ten chapters in which René Radembino Coniquet sets out his considerations of authority, power but above all democracy in the form of interviews with Flavien Enongoué. René Radembino Coniquet was known for his outspokenness and his frankness and his approaches to democracy had more than one policy especially his political opponents because he was a staunch and staunch soldier of the most controversial regimes of the Gabonese Republic.

He talks about what there should be a real democracy characterized by great politics to the detriment of a singularity in terms of public management. It is obvious that by reading René Coniquet, one realizes the stifled will of the political elites of the time which could not survive or achieve a social rise except by aligning itself with the ideology advocated by the leader in office. . But this reason cannot totally whitewash those who use it as an argument to justify their role in the systems of predation and the impoverishment of peoples.

Another striking fact is his position in the conflict between the Gabonese authorities and the party of the former presidential candidate of 2009, André Mba Obame, which will surprise national political observers. In 2012, René Radembino Coniquet campaigned so that the political party “National Union (UN)” could not disappear from Gabonese political life following its dissolution on January 26, 2011 by the Minister of the Interior for having ” violated the constitution “.

Indeed, on January 25, 2011 André Mba Obame proclaimed himself “President of Gabon” and decided to occupy the UN premises to read a press release in which he announced the formation of a government. Feeling the noose tighten against him, Mba Obame took refuge at the French embassy in Gabon. For René Radembino Coniquet, this approach was that of “an independent candidate” to whom the UN “ only lent his seat “And for him, it was necessary that” the power to re-establish the UN as an official party “.


René Radembino Coniquet died on the night of Wednesday September 3 to Thursday September 4, 2014 at his home in Owendo. He was 82 years old and was the indestructible senator of the municipality of Owendo since 1997 and was also a municipal councilor of the said municipality.


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