Yemen names six new ministers in cabinet reshuffle
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh ordered
a cabinet reshuffle Monday, appointing six new ministers as part of government
reforms promised after a wave of violent protests in the south of the Arab
state, state media reported.
The portfolios affected by the reshuffle were oil, interior, electricity, civil services, expatriate affairs and fisheries, the official Saba news agency said.
Saleh named Yemen's ambassador to France, Ameer Aidarous, as oil minister to replace Khaled Bahah, who has held the post since 2006.
Mutahar al-Masri, governor of the restive north-western Saada province, where government forces have been fighting Shiite rebels since 2004, was appointed interior minister.
Al-Masri replaced Rashad al-Alimi, who was cut loose from the portfolio but kept his position as deputy prime minister for security and defence affairs.
Other changes included the appointment of Awad al-Swqatri as electricity minister to replace Mustafa Bahran, who will keep his post as Saleh's advisor for nuclear energy affairs.
Saleh axed Expatriate Affairs Minister Saleh Sumaea and Fisheries Minister Mahmoud Saghiri and gave the two portfolios to Ahmed Musaead Hussein and Muhammad Saleh Shamlan, respectively.
Sana'a's former mayor Yahya al-Shuaibi was named minister of civil services and securities.
Sadiq Ameen Abu-Rass, former governor of the southern Taiz province, was appointed deputy prime minister for local authority affairs.
Two other state ministers were also appointed.
All the newcomers are members of Saleh's ruling General People's Congress (GPC).
The reshuffle comes two days after the GPC dominated the country's first ever-elections of provincial governors, amid an opposition boycott.
The GPC on Saturday won the governorships of the capital Sana'a and 17 provinces, while three independents were elected as governors in three other provinces.
Prompted by a series of violent protests and discontent among incumbent governors in southern provinces, Saleh promised on April 10 to introduce several administrative reforms, including the election of provincial governors.
Headed by Ali Mujawar, the government was appointed by Saleh in April 2007, yielding to pressure from international donors for reforms.
Saleh ruled North Yemen for 12 years before taking the helm of the entire country after North and South Yemen merged in 1990, dpa reported.