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Congo reshuffles government

BRAZZAVILLE, Sep 16 – Congo’s President Denis Sassou Nguesso, re-elected in July, has reshuffled his government omitting the post of prime minister, according to an official decree.

The new government is made up of 37 members, one fewer than the preceding one, while the post of premier held by Isidore Mvouba is suppressed, said the decree read late Tuesday on radio and television.

Mvouba was prime minister but not head of government, a post held by Sassou Nguesso.

Of the outgoing ministers, 27 held onto their posts or were moved. Ten of the incoming ministers are new.

Sassou Nguesso was re-elected for a seven-year term on July 12 with 78.61 percent of the vote. Six other candidates contested the results.

Sassou Nguesso is one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders having first come to power three decades ago.

His first stint as president of the former French colony stretched from 1979 to 1992 and he returned to the presidency in 1997 after a civil war. He was re-elected in 2002 in a vote.

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