The Star Late Edition

President’s son heads ministry


THE Republic of the Congo’s President Denis Sassou Nguesso has chosen a new government that includes his son as well as an opposition leader, according to a statement read on public TV.

The previous government resigned earlier this month in a procedural move after Sassou Nguesso, one of the world’s longest-serving leaders, easily won a fifth term in a March election when his main opponent died of Covid-19 on polling day.

The new government has 36 members including four ministers and eight women, the statement said. The president’s son Denis Christel Sassou Nguesso will head up the newly created ministry of internatio­nal co-operation and public-private partnershi­ps.

Last July, the NGO Global Witness said US federal prosecutor­s were probing the 46-year-old over the alleged embezzleme­nt of several million dollars from the publicly owned National Society of Petroleum of Congo.

His 77-year-old father has headed authoritar­ian regimes in the country since 1979 – with a brief hiatus early in the 1990s – and constituti­onal changes could keep him in power until 2031.

Sassou Nguesso’s son is one of 11 newcomers to the administra­tion, who include philosophy professor Honore Sayi, who had presided over the largest opposition group the Pan-African Union for Social Democracy. Sayi is the new energy minister.

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