Friday, May 18, 2007

Sarkozy announces cabinet - 50% women, first muslim minister

French President Nicholas Sarkozy announced his cabinet of 15 ministers today. For the first time in French history, a person of North African origin and for that matter a woman of Muslim origin has been appointed as a minister:

Rachida Dati - Justice Minister

The daughter of illiterate Algerian and Moroccan parents, Ms Dati is one of 12 children. She studied law at university and then accounting, working for oil giant, Elf.

She trained as a magistrate from 1997-1999 and joined Mr Sarkozy's interior ministry in 2002, playing a key role in improving relations with immigrant communities in the suburbs.

Ms Dati acted as Mr Sarkozy's spokeswoman during his presidential campaign. She is the first person from an ethnic minority to hold a senior French cabinet post.

Rachida Dati's appointment may come as a surprsie to many who remembers Mr. Sarkozy's anti-arab comment during the Paris riots in 2005.
Half of the members of his 15 member cabinet are women. This is also unprecedented in any democracy anywhere in the world.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs went to a very respected Medical Doctor who is a former Health minster and more importantly also happens to be one of the founders of the fine organization - Doctors without Borders:

Mr Kouchner is an outspoken former socialist health minister and UN governor of Kosovo.

Widely admired in France, he founded the medical aid agency Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and is convinced that countries have a moral duty to intervene in humanitarian crises.

He supported the US-led war in Iraq and has vowed to put human rights at the top of France's foreign policy.

Having appointed a diverse and capable cabinet, Mr. Sarkozy seems to be on the right path to bring about the reforms he promised to the French people during his election campaigning.
Good luck to him and his cabinet.

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