Guinea gets new Prime Minister
Guinea’s President Alpha Condé has appointed Ibrahima Kassory Fofana as the country’s new prime minister amid heightened political tensions.
Fofana, a Conde loyalist and former minister of investment and public-private partnerships, replaces Mamady Youla, who resigned last week along with his government, according to a decree read on state television on Monday.
About 10 people died when riots erupted in the capital, Conakry, and other cities in February and March after local elections that the opposition said were marred by fraud.
Conde’s opponents also fear he intends to try to modify the constitution to stand for a third term in 2020. Conde has not yet commented on his intentions.
He did not provide an explanation for the latest government shakeup, but an official at the presidency, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters news agency that the president “wanted an experienced man capable of making decisions”.
Conde’s government has also faced repeated protests by civil servants and residents of mining towns, who complain that the country’s rich mineral deposits have not translated into improved public services or job opportunities.
Guinea is Africa’s top producer of bauxite, which is used to make aluminium. It also has significant reserves of iron ore.
Analysts say he will need to relaunch the economy and diffuse tension following local elections which the opposition says were marred by fraud and rioting.
Mr Fofana, an ally of the president, will also face scrutiny from critics who think Mr Condé intends to change the constitution to remain in power.