April 3, 2012 / 10:55 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 1-Senegal president names technocrat as PM

(Adds quotes from president)

DAKAR, April 3 (Reuters) - Senegal’s new president has named Abdoul Mbaye, a former banker without any party affiliation, as his first prime minister, state television announced on Tuesday.

The nomination was announced a day after Macky Sall was sworn in as Senegal’s president, having defeated incumbent Abdoulaye Wade, his former mentor, in a tense election.

Mbaye, who studied in Senegal and France’s top business schools, previously worked at West Africa’s BCEAO central bank and has been credited with turning around several ailing private banks in the West African state.

In his first speech to the nation since taking office, Sall pledged on Tuesday to restore transparency and good governance to Senegal, where critics say corruption was allowed to take hold under Wade.

Sall pledged to allow the bodies that audit the state to do their job, and said he would clean up the business environment.

“To all those who play a role in managing public funds, I want to make clear that I will not spare anyone,” Sall said in a speech broadcast on state television.

Sall was a minister and prime minister in Wade’s government before falling out with Wade, partly over calls he made for a probe into the management of a summit organised by Karim Wade, the president’s son.

Sall has pledged to make tackling poverty a priority, promising to fund cuts to the price of basic necessities such as rice with reductions in the cost of running the government.

Sall, 50, ran for a seven-year mandate but has pledged to reduce the presidential term to five years and to stick to an existing two-term limit.

The 85-year-old Wade’s attempt to seek a third term sparked street protests leading up to the election in which at least six people died. (Reporting by Diadie Ba; Writing by David Lewis; Editing by Alison Williams)

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