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Senegal president names first premier since 2019

By AFP
17 September 2022   |   2:42 pm
Senegal President Macky Sall on Saturday named a new prime minister a position he abolished in 2019 and reinstated last year after July's tense legislative elections.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on August 27, 2021 President of Senegal Macky Sall attends the Vaccine Equity for Africa event in Berlin, amid the Covid-19 pandemic. – The head of the African Union, Senegalese President Macky Sall, will speak with President Vladimir Putin in the southwestern Russian city of Sochi on June 3, 2022, Dakar said. (Photo by Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP)

Senegal President Macky Sall on Saturday named a new prime minister a position he abolished in 2019 and reinstated last year after July’s tense legislative elections.

A presidential decree named Amadou Ba, a former foreign minister, as the new premier of the divided country, five days after the return of parliament which was marked by a series of incidents and carried out under heavy security.

Ba has served under Sall as finance minister between 2013 and 2019 before becoming foreign minister in 2019 until 2020.

Sall promised to appoint a figure from the winning party in the polls.

His coalition narrowly won the election but was only able to keep its absolute majority with the support of an opposition MP.

In a speech to the nation broadcast on Friday, Sall said the new prime minister would be responsible for addressing the rising cost of living.

“Measures to reduce the cost of living and support employment and entrepreneurship for young people, the fight against floods and costly rents will remain the highest of priorities for me,” Sall said.

Ba echoed these sentiments during his first speech after presidency’s secretary general read out the decree.

Sall, 60, was elected in 2012 for seven years then re-elected in 2019 for another five.

When Sall removed the premier role, the opposition and parts of civil society denounced his attempt to seize greater power.

Concerns over his rule persist and some accuse him of wanting to break the two-term limit and run again in 2024.

Authorities on Friday banned a concert due to be held on Saturday and organised by civil society groups promoting limited mandates in Africa because of what authorities said were the “risks of unrest”, triggering a wave anger on social media.

Sall has also fallen out with a key figure in his camp, former prime minister Aminata Mimi Toure, who was not chosen to lead the national assembly and has since denounced “injustice”.

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