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Gabon's 40-member 'inclusive' cabinet named, main opposition absent

Gabon's 40-member 'inclusive' cabinet named, main opposition absent


Gabonese Prime Minister, Emmanuel Issoze Ngondet, named a 40-member government as scheduled on Sunday which included few opposition members.

The government, expected to be open to the opposition, included Bruno Ben Moubamba, an opposition candidate in this year’s presidential election, appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Urban Development and Housing.

The other opposition member in the new government is Estelle Ondo, who is the Vice President of another opposition party, the National Union. She takes the position of Minister of Forest Economy, Fisheries and Environment.

These two are the opposition members that make up the “inclusive government” which according to the prime minister, has over 30% women representation “ready to work for the nation”.

The camp of disgruntled opposition member Jean Ping has questioned the inclusiveness of the new government which has none of their members named.

“So that’s the inclusive government? … They just picked the fallen and hungry,” AFP quoted the communications director of Jean Ping, Jean-Gaspard Ntoutoume Emane.

The new government retained some notable figures in the old government including the government spokesman and Minister of Communication Alain-Claude bile-By-Nze, who retains his position, and then former Interior Minister Pacome Moubelet Boubeya who is now the Foreign Minister.

The Secretary General of the Presidency, Etienne Massard Kabinda Makaga, also maintains his position in addition to the portfolio of National Defence Secretary which was a position President Ali Bongo held for 10 years before succeeding his father in 2009.

The Minister of Defence will now report to the Secretary General of the Presidency, a new directive announced by the Prime Minister during the press conference on Sunday.