Agriculture and Livestock in charge of
Implementing the Seed Programme: Biendi
Budget: Jean-Fidele Otandault
Digital Economy, Communication, Culture
and Arts and Government Spokesman:
Economy, Planning and Development: Regis
Family and Child Protection: Josue Mba-
Fisheries and Maritime Security: Guy Ros-
Foreign Affairs, Cooperation, Francophonie
and Regional Integration in Charge of
Gabonese Abroad: Noel Nelson Messone
Forestry and Environment: Moubelet-Bou-
Health: Denise Mekamne (f)
Higher Education, Scientiﬁc Research and
Executive Training: Guy Bertrand Mapan-
Infrastructure, Public Works and Territorial
Planning: Jean-Pierre Oyiba
Interior, Security and Public Hygiene in
charge of Decentralisation and Local Devel-
opment: Lambert Noel Matha
Justice in charge of Human Rights: Edgar
Anicet Mboumbou Miyakou
Labour, Employment,Vocational Training
and Youth Professional Integration: Carmen
Mines: Christian Magnagna
National Defence: Etienne Massard Kabinda
National Education: Nadine Patricia Angui-
Petroleum and Hydrocarbons: Pascal
Presidential Affairs: Etienne Massard
Promotion of Private Investment, Small and
Medium Enterprises, Trade and Industry:
Madeleine Berre (f)
Public Service: Jean-Marie Ogandaga
Relations with Constitutional Institutions in
Charge of Implementing Acts on Political
Dialogue: Blaise Louembe
Social Welfare and National Solidarity: Paul
Sports and Tourism: Mathias Otounga Ossi-
Transport and Logistics: Estelle Ondo (f)
Urban Development and Social Housing:
Francis Nkea Ndzigue
Water and Energy: Patrick Eyogo Edzang
Government Spokesperson: Chantal Akos-
Opposition Split: RFI (16/2) reported
that nine parties in the coalition that
supported Jean Ping during the August
2016 presidential election had
announced they would not be taking
part in the legislative polls due to take
place in April. For these parties, Ping is
the ‘elected president’ of the country and
they claim the polls have no legitimacy.
However Guy Nzouba Ndama and his
Democrats party have said they will take
part in the elections. Casimir Oye Mba
will also participate.
Close associates of Ping also suspect that
Zacharie Myboto and Alexandre Barro
Chambrier will participate in the polls.
The two were staunch supporters of Jean
Ping in the 2016 presidential campaign.
(RFI, Paris 16/2) Presidential term limits
scrapped p. 21715B
New PM Appointed
The latest incumbent can do little to
break the current political impasse.
President Jose Mario Vaz named a new
prime minister late on January 30th,
appointing Augusto Antonio Artur Da
Silva by decree after the previous PM
resigned in a bid to end a political crisis.
The new prime minister’s ﬁrst job will be
to organise fresh parliamentary elections
in the coming months.
The impoverished West African nation
has been in the throes of a power
struggle since August 2015, when Vaz
sacked then – prime minister Domingos
Vaz and Pereira – who heads the ruling
African Party for the Independence of
Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC)of
which the president is a member – have
accused each other of blocking the
implementation of an accord reached in
The agreement had envisaged naming a
new prime minister “who had the pres-
ident’s trust,” and who would maintain
his position until elections to be held in
The appointment of former Foreign
minister and fellow PAIGC member
Da Silva as prime minister came two
weeks after the resignation of predeces-
sor Umaro Sissoco Embalo.
Embalo had been in the post for less
than a year and had lost the support of
many within the ruling party.
The presidential decree said that the
appointment of Da Silva was part of
“ongoing efforts to ﬁnd a deﬁnitive
solution to political-constitutional crisis
which has hit the country in recent
Under the current constitution, the
choice of prime minister rests with the
ruling party. But because the PAIGC
has lost its parliamentary majority, Vaz
has sought backing from MPs from the
second party, the Party of Social Reno-
vation (PRS), along with 15 rebels from
the ruling party.
© AFP 31/1 2018)
On February 6th, the Economic Com-
munity of West African States (ECO-
WAS) imposed sanctions on 19
lawmakers and associates of President
Vaz, including his son, over the contin-
ued failure to end the political impasse.
A faction of 15 PAIGC lawmakers had
broken away in support of Vaz while the
majority backed Pereira.
The restrictions, which include a travel
ban and a freeze of bank accounts,
target eight of the 15 rebels who back
Vaz, six PRS lawmakers whose party has
propped up the president in parliament,
and ﬁve people close to him.
His son Emerson Vaz, a businessman,
was one of those named.
Talks mediated by Guinean President
Alpha Conde in October 2016 had led to
a deal aimed at naming a new prime
minister respected by all sides, with a
view to organising legislative elections.
But little progress has been made
towards the points laid out in the so-
called Conakry Accord.
ECOWAS took the decision due to the
long impasse and after security forces
blocked PAIGC members from holding
a party congress.
The appointment of Da Silva as prime
minister was not met with satisfaction by
ECOWAS, who decried “the failure to
appoint a Prime Minister of consensus”,
as he was appointed by decree.
(© AFP 6/
Separately the African Union (AU) and
the United Nations (UN) on February
4th expressed concern over the pro-
longed political crisis and also con-
demned recent actions to prevent the
PAIGC from holding its conference.
(PANA, Addis Ababa 4/2) PM resigns p.
Weah bows to pressure over the con-
troversial appointment of his Justice
President George Weah ﬁlled most
remaining cabinet seats on January
27th while controversy grew over alle-
gations of past criminal behaviour by his
Weah gave posts to a mixture of inex-
perienced but loyal ﬁgures from his
Congress for Democratic Change
(CDC) party, along with some key
members held over from the former
government, according to names
released in an ofﬁcial statement.
Newly appointed Interior minister Var-
ney Sirleaf is a stepson of former pres-
ident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and
previously served as deputy minister,
while her Information minister Eugene
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
February 1st–28th 2018 Africa Research Bulletin – 21749