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Africa
Guinea PM appoints new government
None of the new cabinet members served in previous administration led by president.
Last Modified: 29 Mar 2007 05:54 GMT
Prime Minister Kouyate has assumed the power to appoint and dismiss ministers [Reuters]
Guinea's new prime minister has appointed a cabinet without any members from the previous government led by Lasana Conte, the president.
 
Lansana Kouyate, who was appointed prime minister last month, named 19 new ministers and three new secretaries of state, state-run television reported.
Wednesday's announcement was cautiously welcomed by Guinea's opposition as the fulfilment of a deal leading unions struck with Conte to end violent anti-government protests.
 
The new lineup is seen as a positive step but union leaders have reserved comment pending the government's performance.

"If this government fails to bring change, we will throw them out, just as we threw the last government in the trash can of history"

Mariama Penda Diallo, CNTG-USTG union

Mariama Penda Diallo, an executive member of the CNTG-USTG union, said: "We know we can count on this new government to change things. In any case, nothing will be as it was.
 
"If this government fails to bring change, we will throw them out, just as we threw the last government in the trash can of history."
 
Independent leader
 
Conte seized power in a 1984 coup and has ruled the country since then, vested with powers to appoint and dismiss ministers.
 
Under the terms of the recent deal, Conte agreed to appoint an independent prime minister who would assume those powers.
 
Guinea's unions have held nationwide strikes in recent months calling for the president to step down.
 
In January, a strike turned bloody after security forces opened fire on demonstrators and killed dozens, prompting Conte to make the deal.
 
He appointed Kouyate as prime minister from a list approved by the opposition.
 
Kouyate, in a televised address to the nation, said: "This is a government dedicated to public service, guided by integrity, efficiency, the well-being of all and the principles of democracy."
 
He added that "justice and respect for the rule of law" will guide his administration, "as justice is the basis of harmony".
Source:
Agencies
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