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Senegal PM forms new government without singer Youssou N'Dour

04 september 2013, 10:05
0
Senegal's new prime minister, Aminata Toure, formed her new government Monday with the notable absence of singer and tourism minister Youssou N'Dour, according to a presidential statement, AFP reports.

The reshuffle came a day after Toure was appointed to replace Abdoul Mbaye, whose government was dismissed without explanation by President Macky Sall after 17 months in office.

Internationally renowned musician N'Dour, known for his eclectic sound, had been entrusted with the tourism portfolio under the previous government since 2012.

His name did not figure among the new 32-member government, according to a decree read out to reporters in Dakar by the secretary general to the presidency, Maxime Jean Simon Ndiaye.

But another presidential announcement broadcast on television late on Monday said the singer, a Senegal icon, had instead been appointed as minister-counsellor to the presidency.

The new government includes eight first-time ministers, including lawyer Sidiki Kaba, the former president of the human rights group FIDH, who will take over from Toure as justice minister.

Toure is the second woman to occupy the post of prime minister in Senegal, after Mame Madior Boye who headed a government between March 2001 and November 2002.

Toure pledged after her nomination that she would press on with the work that "has been undertaken since last year (to) develop and improve the conditions" of the people.

While no explanation has been given for Mbaye's sudden departure, many Senegalese say the former banker failed to improve the lives of the country's 13 million people, with the cost of living rising in a difficult international economic and financial environment.

Given the situation in Senegal, "Mbaye should have quit long ago," editorialist and political scientist Abdoulaye Bamba Diallo told AFP.

President Macky Sall "had to change policy and to change policy you must change the people" in charge, he added.

President Macky Sall was elected president in March last year after predecessor Abdoulaye Wade's last years in office were marked by political and social unrest.

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