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Last Updated: Saturday, 30 December 2006, 23:57 GMT
Kabila appoints DR Congo premier
Joseph Kabila swears his oath of office in Kinshasa, 6 December
Joseph Kabila took power in 2001 after his father was assassinated
The newly-elected president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Joseph Kabila, has named a former opposition figure as the country's prime minister.

The nomination of Antoine Gizenga, 81, leader of the Unified Lumumbist Party (Palu), was widely expected as it had figured in electoral accords.

Mr Gizenga must now nominate ministers to form a government, a statement said.

Mr Kabila is DR Congo's first freely elected leader in 40 years having won October's run-off presidential poll.

The 35-year-old took power in 2001 after his father was assassinated.

'Extremely pleased'

Mr Gizenga, who came third in the first round of the presidential election in July, signed an agreement with Mr Kabila ahead of the run-off, promising his support reportedly in exchange for the post of prime minister.

"Palu is extremely pleased. We have finally come back to where we were when we were pushed aside," a spokesman for Mr Gizenga told Reuters news agency.

Mr Gizenga has been a prominent figure in Congolese politics for nearly five decades.

His support is concentrated in Bandundu province and Kinshasa, where Joseph Kabila is weaker. Palu won 35 seats out of 500 in the parliamentary poll.


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