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Rogombe to Become Gabon's Acting Leader Wednesday

Gabon's high court has confirmed that Senate leader Rose Francine Rogombe will take over as acting president, following the death of longtime ruler Omar Bongo.

The head of Gabon's constitutional court Marie-Madeleine Mborantsuo told reporters that Rogombe will be sworn in on Wednesday.

The move is in line with the west African country's constitution, which the government has said it will respect during the post-Bongo transition.

The constitution gives Rogombe 45 days to organize elections to replace Mr. Bongo, who led Gabon for more than four decades.

Possible presidential candidates include Vice President Didjob Divungi Di Ndinge, Foreign Minister Paul Toungui and the late president's son Ali Ben Bongo, who is Gabon's defense minister.

Omar Bongo died Monday in a Spanish hospital at the age of 73. Officials in Spain say his body will be flown back to Gabon on Thursday.

The west African nation was peaceful Tuesday, though soldiers guarded key government buildings as a precaution.

Gabon is observing 30 days of national mourning for the late leader. No date has been announced for the funeral.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.