Wednesday, May 7, 2008

New Prime Minister for Mauritania

From Agence France Presse:

NOUAKCHOTT - Mauritanian Prime Minister Zeine Ould Zeidane resigned yesterday after just a year in office, a television channel in the northwest African state reported.

President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi "accepted this resignation and thanked the prime minister and the members of his government for their efforts and the work achieved," Mauritanian television said, citing a presidential statement.

Ould Zeidane, 42, was replaced by the economist and former minister Yahya Ould Ahmed Waghf, 48, it added.

It gave no explanation for the resignation, following criticism of the government by the president’s camp which has accused it of not representing the political parties that hold a majority in parliament.

Mauritania, a largely desert country, has been shaken recently by a food crisis fuelled by soaring food prices worldwide, and by deadly attacks from extremist groups.

Abdallahi had appointed Ould Zeidane in April 2007, the month after the president came to power following a transition to democracy after two years of military rule. The previous president had been ousted in a coup in 2005.

The new prime minister was formerly a university economics teacher and is president of the ruling PNDD party.

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