August 8, 2023

Niger military junta appoints transitional prime minister

Niger military junta appoints transitional prime minister

Niger’s junta has appointed an economist, Ali Mahamane Lamine Zeine as the transitional prime minister on Monday.

The coup plotters made this known according to a decree read on national television, more than a week after the military coup that toppled President Mohamed Bazoum.

According to Anadolu Agency, the caretaker government, addressed itself as the National Council for the Safeguarding of the Country, as the was read by Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani, the former commander of Niger’s presidential guard, who declared himself the head of a transitional government.

Zeine, 58, served as finance minister under Mamadou Tandja, who led the country from 1999 to 2010 after its return to civilian rule.

He currently serves as the African Development Bank’s Country Manager for Chad and previously served at the same institution and position in Ivory Coast and Gabon.

According to the decree, Zeine is expected to lead consultations for the formation of a new government.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is to hold another emergency summit on Thursday in Nigeria to address the political crisis in Niger after the military leaders ignored its ultimatum to cede power.

On Monday, the US State Department said it made direct contact with the coup leaders and had stressed the need to reinstate Bazoum and for Niger to revert to its “constitutional order.”

Bazoum was detained by members of the Presidential Guard on July 26, who later that evening announced the government takeover. ​​​​​​​