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Page last updated at 18:27 GMT, Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Nigeria leader Goodluck Jonathan 'chooses cabinet'

Acting President Goodluck Jonathan, file pic
Goodluck Jonathan has been acting leader since last month

Nigeria's acting President Goodluck Jonathan has nominated a list of ministers, sources say, a week after he sacked his entire cabinet.

Parliamentary sources said Mr Jonathan had forwarded his nominees to the Senate for their consideration.

Finalising cabinet choices could take weeks, amid jockeying for position among the country's many rival interest groups and regions.

Mr Jonathan is acting leader in place of the ailing President Umaru Yar'Adua.

He sacked the cabinet in what analysts say was an attempt to replace Yar'Adua loyalists with his own choices.

Some reports suggested that the list he had given to the Senate included the names only of those ministers from the previous cabinet that he wanted to retain.

YAR'ADUA ILLNESS TIMELINE
23 Nov 2009: Goes to hospital in Saudi Arabia
26 Nov: Doctors say he has pericarditis, a heart problem
23 Dec: First court case filed urging him to step down
12 Jan: President gives telephone interview from Saudi Arabia
27 Jan: Cabinet declares president fit
9 Feb: Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan made acting president
24 Feb: Yar'Adua returns

Other reports said he had provided a complete list of cabinet nominees.

Officials have not yet commented on the reports, but the Senate is expected to make an announcement on Wednesday.

Mr Jonathan is battling to fill a power vacuum that has been plaguing Nigerian politics since Mr Yar'Adua went to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment in November last year.

The president recently returned to Nigeria, but he has still not been seen in public since he fell ill.

Mr Jonathan was installed as acting president on 9 February after weeks of legal wrangling and widespread street protests by Nigerians demanding clarity on who was running the country.

Since then, he has been faced with an outbreak of communal violence in the central city of Jos and a renewed campaign by militants in the oil-rich Niger Delta.



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