Niger gets new government

2011-04-21 22:01

Niamey - Niger's newly-elected President Mahamadou Issoufou and Prime Minister Brigi Rafini unveiled their first government Thursday, comprising 23 members including six women.

Most come from Issoufou's Niger Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS) or those which backed him in the March 12 run-off of the presidential race, when he beat former prime minister Seini Oumarou.

Oumarou himself was invited to join the government but declined.

Senior PNDS officials Bazoum Mohamed, Karidjo Mahamadou, Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou and Foumakoye Gado take over the foreign, defence, finance and mining ministries respectively.

Mohamed and Gado already held the same portfolios under previous administrations.

Justice Minister Marou Amadou has no party affiliation while Interior Minister Abdou Labo is close to ex-president Mahamane Ousman, who was knocked out in the first round and supported Oumarou in the run-off.

Issoufou was sworn in on April 7, ending the military transition that began in February 2010 when a coup overthrew president Mamadou Tandja, who was seeking to stay in office beyond the legal two terms.