21 January 2014

Guinea: President Conde Names New Government

Guinea's President Alpha Conde has issued a decree naming a new government. While his prime minister and over half his cabinet will remain in power, no opposition figures have been included.

Conde unveiled his 35-member cabinet on Monday. The announcement follows a tight legislative election last September, and comes ahead of the presidential vote in 2015.

Prime Minister Mohamed Said Fofana will continue to head the government. He was reinstated on Saturday after resigning three days earlier.

Former Finance Minister Kerfalla Yansane has been named the new minister for mines in the mineral-rich country. He was also named a minister of state, a position ranked above cabinet posts, and will be charged with renewing investor confidence in the country. Francois Louceny Fall will stay on as foreign minister.

In all, 19 ministers are either keeping their previous positions or have been given new ones. Another 15 were replaced, while the religious affairs minister position has been eliminated.

The decree comes after Guinea's September 28 elections that saw Conde's Rally of the Guinean People (RGP) win an outright majority in parliament. The vote was seen as an important opportunity for the country to return to democracy, but opposition and outside observers questioned its validity. More than 50 people were killed leading up to the poll.

Late next year, Guineans are due to vote for a president.

Although the country has wealthy mineral reserves and has attracted a number of big mining projects, Guinea has struggled to deal with political instability and poverty.

(AFP, Reuters)

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