West African central bank head Charles Konan Banny selected as prime minister of Ivory Coast

The head of West Africa's Central bank, Charles Konan Banny has been named as transitional prime minister of Ivory Coast until October 2006, South Africa's Foreign Affairs minister announced Sunday.

Reading a short statement outside the Ivorian presidency, South African Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma told reporters; "the prime minister of the transition period, which is expected to end in October 2006, is Charles Konan Banny."

"He will have all the powers conferred on him by resolution 1633," Zuma said. "The prime minister will not be eligible for the presidential elections for 2006," he said.

Presidents Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and Olusegun Obasanjo from Nigeria had arrived earlier Sunday from a France-Africa summit to help mediate a solution and select a prime minister acceptable to all parties, including Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo and rebels who control the northern half of the country.

It was not immediately clear if the rebels had agreed to the nomination.

Insurgents who have held Ivory Coast's north since a 2002-2003 civil war have already rejected a shortlist of potential candidates because it did not include their leader, Guillaume Soro, who is insisting on the premiership, AP reported. V.A.

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