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Senegal President Dismisses Prime Minister - 2002-11-04

Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade has sacked his prime minister and dissolved the government. Some analysts in Senegal say the move is a consequence of September's ferry disaster which killed nearly 1,000 people.

The Senegalese leader's decision to re-shuffle his government came as no surprise to many Senegalese.

For weeks, independent newspapers have said the president was preparing to make changes in his cabinet.

President Wade dismissed Prime Minister Mame Madior Boye, giving no official explanation for the action. A presidential decree read on state television Monday said Ms. Boye, who is not of the president's party, would continue to perform her duties until a new prime minister is named.

Ms. Boye was Senegal's first woman prime minister. She was named to the post last year after the president fired the previous prime minister in an earlier re-shuffle.

Officials did not say when the new cabinet will be put in place. President Wade last month accepted the resignations of two of his ministers who quit the government following the capsizing of the Joola, a government-operated ferry.

Although officials at the president's office are not linking the reshuffle to the ferry accident, some analysts believe it is a result, albeit indirect, of public pressure that is growing on the government to thoroughly investigate the disaster and pay reparations to the families of victims.

Shortly after the ferry capsized on September 26, President Wade said the government accepted full responsibility for the disaster.

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