Sierra Leone president makes first appointments of new cabinet By KEMO CHAM in Freetown | Tuesday, December 18  2012 at  13:59

Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma. Photo | FILE 

Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma has made the first three ministerial appointments of his new cabinet.

Two of the ministers who served in the last cabinet are Attorney-General and Minister of Justice Frank Kargbo, who remains in the same position, and Samura Kamara, who has been moved to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the Finance portfolio.

The third is Keifala Marrah, who takes over the Finance Ministry after a successful stint as the president's Chief of Staff.

The nominated ministers will have to go through a parliamentary select committee for confirmation.

Dr Marrah is expected to go through this process as a matter of urgency to enable him read the Budget this Friday.

The announcement was done on Monday, and it marks the beginning of what is a crucial stage following a highly divisive election in November.

There have been calls for a government of national unity to help heal the scars caused by the polls.

However, the nature of this government of national unity has been the bone of contention. While some want to see a cabinet consisting of people from across the north/south-east divide, the president's supporters rule out the inclusion of members of the opposition as has been suggested by some commentators.

President Koroma recently weighed in on the debate, noting that while he realised the need for national unity, the people had voted for an APC government.

The piecemeal manner of the ministerial appointments is however not a surprise given the tediousness of the selection process. Within the governing party itself there is severe competition for attention.