Congo president names opposition leader as PM

Congo’s President Denis Sassou Nguesso named former finance minister Clement Mouamba as prime minister, bringing a one-time opposition leader into the government, state television has said.

The appointment comes a month after Sassou Nguesso was elected to a five-year term that extends his long rule over the oil producing country. Sassou Nguesso led Congo between 1979 and 1992 and returned to power after a civil war in 1997.

Mouamba was a senior member of the Pan-African Union for Social Democracy (UPADS) but was expelled from the opposition party for participating in consultations that preceded a referendum last October on changing the constitution to allow Sassou Nguesso to serve a third term.

“I have no complex about coming to greet the head of state, the head of the village. Whatever the nature of the problems, I take responsibility for what I have done,” he said at the time.

The central African country has experienced political violence since the election.