N’DJAMENA (Reuters) - Chad has appointed MP Albert Pahimi Padacke as prime minister of the Central African country following the resignation of his predecessor, state television said on Saturday, heralding a Cabinet reshuffle just two months ahead of presidential elections.
No reason was given for the departure of Kalzeube Pahimi Deubet earlier on Saturday. He had served as prime minister for more than two years.
President Idriss Deby, a key Western military ally in power for more than a quarter of a century, is set to bid for a fifth term as leader of the oil-producing country in April.
He has pledged to reintroduce term limits thereafter. Attempts by other African leaders to abolish them in order to extend their rules have led to violence, such as in Burundi, Burkina Faso and Congo Republic.
Pahimi Padacke, a former minister of justice, is seen as a close ally of Deby despite having run against him in the last presidential polls in 2011.
A political observer who asked not to be named said the appointment might help Deby lure supporters from opposition leader Saleh Kebzabo who comes from the same region as the new prime minister.
Reporting by Madjiasra Nako; Writing by Emma Farge; Editing by Matthew Lewis