* Mali trying to resolve political crisis since March coup
* Army chooses five out of new 31-member government
* ECOWAS pushing for troops to retake rebel-held north
By Tiemoko Diallo
BAMAKO, Aug 20 Mali's interim president
Dioncounda Traore approved a new transitional government on
Monday, to move the West African country closer to
constitutional order after a military coup in March.
The 31-member government will replace a transitional
authority that was crippled by political infighting, and failed
make progress in setting elections.
"The president of the republic, after receiving proposals
from the prime minister, decrees the list of members of
government," said a presidential statement read over state
The statement said the holders of five posts in the new
transitional government had been chosen by the military
leadership. It said at least four members of the previous
transitional authority, including the interior minister charged
with organising elections, remained unchanged.
Once considered a democratic success story in a
long-troubled region, Mali has been split in two since a March
22 coup paved the way for a military advance by northern
separatists and al Qaeda-linked Islamists.
West African regional bloc ECOWAS, which is pushing for the
deployment of a 3,000-strong intervention force in Mali, had
called on Traore to ensure the formation of a government that
better represents Mali's different interests.
While the coup was condemned abroad, the reaction in cotton
and gold producing Mali was mixed, with some praising the
removal of a political class they said was corrupt.
Traore had reappointed his prime minister, Cheick Modibo
Diarra, on Aug. 12 and asked him to form a new government within