New prime min­is­ter reshuf­fles gov­ern­ment

The Washington Times Daily - - World -

LI­BRE­VILLE | Gabon’s new prime min­is­ter on Tues­day un­veiled a dras­ti­cally re­vamped gov­ern­ment lineup, drop­ping sev­eral stal­warts, in­clud­ing late strong­man Omar Bongo’s for­eign min­is­ter and son-in-law.

Ac­cord­ing to pres­i­dency Sec­re­tary­Gen­eral Laure-olga Gond­jout, the new gov­ern­ment con­sists of 29 min­is­ters, in­clud­ing Prime Min­is­ter Ray­mond Ndong Sima, who was named by Pres­i­dent Ali Bongo Ondimba on Mon­day.

The pres­i­dency an­nounced the ap­point­ment of the 56-year-old out­go­ing agri­cul­ture min­is­ter two months af­ter Gabon’s rul­ing party swept to a land­slide vic­tory in De­cem­ber polls marred by fraud ac­cu­sa­tions and low turnout.

One of the most no­table changes in the new lineup is the ouster of Paul Toun­gui as for­eign min­is­ter. He had served in the gov­ern­ment since 1990 and is the son-in-law of the pres­i­dent’s late fa­ther, Omar Bongo, who ruled the oil-rich West African for­mer French colony from 1967 to 2009.

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