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Africa

Government reappointed in wake of Bongo's death

©

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-20

Ahead of upcoming presidential elections, Gabon's government was reappointed on Friday under the acting head of state, Jean Francine Rogombe, the Senate speaker who was sworn in after the death of President Omar Bongo Ondimba (pictured).

AFP - Gabon's government led by Prime Minister Jean Eyeghe Ndong was reappointed Friday after earlier resigning in line with a court ruling following the death of president Omar Bongo Ondimba.

Ndong and his ministers were reappointed by acting head of state Rose Francine Rogombe but several changed portfolio.

Interior Minister Andre Mba Obame was replaced by Jean-François Ndongou, also a member of Bongo's PDG party, said a decree read on television.

Mba Obame will himself replace Ndongou as minister in charge of coordinating government policies.

The interior minister is due to organise upcoming presidential elections.

"The prime minister has presented his resignation and that of his government to the president," Ndong's spokesman Max-Olivier Obame earlier told AFP.

According to the constitutional court, the government's functions ceased once the interim president had been sworn in, but Ndong and his cabinet remained operational to oversee the country during the funeral.

Defence Minister Ali Ben Bongo, a son of the late leader and possible candidate in the election, as well as all other possible candidates -- deputy prime minister Paul Mba Abessole, Foreign Minister Paul Toungui, Minister for Mining and Oil Casimir Oye Mba, Health Minister Idriss Ngari and others -- kept their posts.

Ndong's cabinet includes 48 ministers.

The equatorial African country is being ruled by Rogombe -- the Senate speaker who was sworn in on June 10, two days after Bongo's death was announced -- with a brief to prepare for the presidential elections.

Bongo was buried Thursday in a traditional funeral at one of his luxurious palaces in Franceville, attended by thousands of people.

A state funeral on Tuesday in Libreville was attended by France's President Nicolas Sarkozy and rulers from a dozen other African nations.

Date created : 2009-06-20

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