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Africa
Technocrat to be Senegalís new prime minister
Ex-banker and business executive Abdoul Mbaye appointed to post by President Macky Sall.
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2012 22:56
Macky Sall has promised to reduce the size of the government [Al Jazeera]

Macky Sall, Senegal's newly-elected president, has named ex-banker and business executive Abdoul Mbaye as his prime minister, a day after being sworn into office in the west African country.

"Abdoul Mbaye is named prime minister," said a presidential decree read by the secretary general of the new Senegalese government, whose lineup was expected to be announced later on Tuesday.

Sall's incoming team will have many challenges, notably unemployment, high food prices, power cuts and a long strike which has crippled the education sector.

Many Senegalese complain that the cost of living has skyrocketed, with basic necessities such as fuel, rice and electricity becoming increasingly out of reach.

"We aren't able to do everything. I haven't promised to do everything," he said earlier, saying he would focus on poverty alleviation and boosting development.

The union representing lecturers from five public universities said last week it would pause its strike until mid-April to allow the new administration to review its demands.

Key reforms

Sall, 50, has said he wanted to halve the size of the government and reduce Senegal's diplomatic representation abroad.

As he readies to overhaul the executive and push through key reforms, Sall must also help prepare his party for the legislative polls to the 140-seat national assembly, still dominated by loyalists of Wade'sSenegalese Democratic Party (PDS).

 

In a televised address late on Tuesday, his first since his crushing election victory over ex-president Abdoulaye Wade, Sall said that legislative elections would be pushed back from June 17 to July 1 of this year.

"Considering the little time that we have before the legislative polls, I have consulted the new opposition" about delaying the vote, he said.

Sall previously served as prime minister and was considered Wade's designated heir before he fell out, quit the PDS and struck out on his own.

He took over as the country's fourth president, since independence from France in 1960, after winning 65.8 per cent of the votes in a run-off poll against 85-year-old Wade on March 26.

Source:
Agencies
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