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Congo Names 60-Member Government

  • Franz Wild

Democratic Republic of Congo's President Joseph Kabila has announced his new cabinet, two months after being inaugurated as head of state. For VOA, Franz Wild has the details from Kinshasa.

Sixty members of the Alliance for a Presidential Majority, which supported President Kabila in last year's second-round run-off, made it onto the cabinet, according to a decree read on state television.

Third-place finisher Antoine Gizenga became prime minister after supporting Mr. Kabila in the second round. The 81-year-old's Lumumbist party holds key posts such as the ministry of mines.

While former rebel leader Mbusa Nyamwisi became foreign minister, another former rebel Azarias Ruberwa went empty-handed, after his party won few votes.

Observers say last year's polls were the first to be free and fair for 40 years.

The government's main challenge will be to stabilize the volatile east, reform the army and fulfill the country's economic potential. Despite Congo's vast mineral wealth it remains poor after former dictator Mobutu Sese Seko plundered state mining companies.

A 1998 to 2003 war left four million people dead, mainly from starvation and disease.