Togo

Togolese new cabinet announced

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News and Press Release
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LOME, Jun 21, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Togo's newly appointed Prime Minister Edem Kodjo on Monday night announced the formation of a new cabinet, the state television reported.

The new cabinet is made up of 30 ministers. Five ministers retained their posts, three changed posts and 22 are new faces.

Zarifou Ayeva, head of the moderate opposition Party for Democracy and Renewal, will be the minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. His predecessor Biossey Kokou Tozoun will be the press and education minister.

Meanwhile, Tchessa Abi, from the main opposition coalition that was united to challenge President Faure Gnassingbe in the April polls, will take the post of justice minister.

Jean-Lucien Savi de Tove, from Kodjo's moderate opposition Patriotic Pan-African Party, will head the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Other cabinet members include Security Minister Pitalounani Laokpessi and Health Minister Suzanne Aho Assouma.

Kodjo, 67, was prime minister from 1994 to 1996 under President Gnassingbe's father, Gnassingbe Eyadema. He also served as secretary-general of the Organization of African Unity, the African Union's forerunner. He was credited with helping turn the tottering Togolese economy around in 1994.

The new government will face such tasks as finding solutions to the domestic political crisis, returning Togolese refugees, securing social stability and boosting the national economy.