Gabon’s President Names Prime Minister From North

Posted February 28th, 2012 at 6:45 am (UTC-5)
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Gabon's president has selected a new prime minister from a region never before represented in the post.

President Ali Bongo announced the appointment of former agricultural minister Raymond Ndong Sima late Monday.

Presidential advisor Igor Simard told VOA that the new prime minister was chosen because of his dual background in government and the private sector, and that he will play a key role in implementing the president's economic plans.

Simard said Gabon's prime ministers have traditionally hailed from the same region as the capital, Libreville, and that the president is making an important point by selecting a native of the northern Woleu-Ntem area.

“This is a very very big surprise and very positive message that the president sends to all Gabonese people, telling them that everybody can have access to this function.”

Mr. Bongo's ruling party won a landslide victory in a December parliamentary election in a vote largely boycotted by the opposition. Both the government and African Union observers said the result was credible.