Gabon's constitutional court has intervened to avert a political crisis brought about by the ill health of President Ali Bongo.
There have been no government meetings since he was taken to hospital in Saudi Arabia last month.
The court has amended the constitution to allow the vice-president or prime minister to run cabinet meetings if the president is temporarily unavailable - a move the opposition says is illegal.
Amid speculation that the president had suffered a stroke and some even questioning whether he was still alive, President Bongo's office finally admitted on Sunday that he was recovering from surgery.
In 2009 Ali Bongo succeeded his father Omar Bongo who had been president for more than 40 years.