Central African Republic: Bozize inaugurated, prime minister appointed

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

BANGUI, 13 June (IRIN) - The constitutional court of the Central African Republic (CAR) inaugurated on Saturday newly-elected President Francois Bozize, during a ceremony at the National Assembly building in the capital, Bangui.

"Today we are proud to regain our place amongst democratic nations," Bozize said upon being sworn in by the constitutional court's chairman, Marcel Malonga.

Bozize, 58, won a runoff presidential poll on 8 May when he garnered 64 percent of the vote against 36 percent of his challenger, former Prime Minister Martin Ziguele.

Bozize's inauguration ends a transitional phase to democratic rule he installed on 15 March 2003 when he ousted former President Ange-Felix Patasse after a six-month rebellion.

"Turning the dark pages of our history was long, painful and full of obstacles, the main one being mistrust," Bozize said of his two-year transition.

In his speech, Bozize said all CAR nationals, regardless of political affiliation, must unit. He said his five-year mandate would be one of guaranteeing development and democratic freedom.

Presidents Denis Sassou-Nguesso of the Republic of Congo, Omar Bongo of Gabon, Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Idriss Deby of Chad attended the inauguration.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Celestin Leroy Gaombalet resigned on Saturday after the inauguration, to take up the post of Speaker of the National Assembly.

In a communiqué read over state-owned radio Centrafrique on Monday by Alain Georges Ngatoua, communication adviser and spokesman at the presidency, Bozize appointed Elie Dote to replace Gaombalet.

Until his appointment, Dote was employed by the African Development Bank in Tunis, Tunisia.


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