Senegalese President Macky Sall dissolved his government on Wednesday, terminating the functions of all ministers, according to a statement from his office, reported CGTN Africa.
Presidential spokesman Abdou Latif Coulibaly said Sall had signed a decree to that effect without giving a reason for the move or information about the date for the formation of a new cabinet.
According to the statement released on late Wednesday, all the ministers and state secretaries will maintain their functions until a new government has been named.
“While awaiting the putting in place of a new government, outgoing ministers and secretaries of state are charged with carrying out their ongoing affairs,” the statement read.
The Senegalese president had earlier presided as usual over cabinet business without giving any indication he was about to dissolve a government formed in April of last year, weeks after he was re-elected to a second term. He had also abolished the office of prime minister, a step what critics saw as a bid to wield more power himself.
In a separate decree Wednesday, Sall abolished the functions of the secretary-general to the presidency Mahammed Boun Abdallah Dione, previously his prime minister and a longtime close aide.
The Senegalese president also dismissed another former Prime Minister Aminata Toure from her post as chair of the country’s economic, social and environmental council (CESE). Toure, a former justice minister, women’s rights and anti-corruption campaigner, is believed by some observers to harbour presidential ambitions.
In related news, Senegal has so far reported 15,582 coronavirus cases including 322 deaths. Around 14,565 people have recovered from the deadly virus so far.
The Covid-19 pandemic is expected to have a devastating impact on the Senegalese economy. Last month, the International Monetary Fund predicted that the economy would contract by 0.7% this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But, last week, Finance minister Abdoulaye Daouda Diallo said the Senegalese economy is expected to grow by more than 2% this year because of strong agricultural harvests helped by heavy rains.