Mauritania's Mohamed Ould Bilal named new PM after predecessor, govt step down

A photo taken on April 2, 2019 in Nouakchott shows a Mauritanian national flag.
A photo taken on April 2, 2019 in Nouakchott shows a Mauritanian national flag. © Carmen Abd Ali, AFP

Mauritania's prime minister and his entire government resigned on Thursday, a day after parliamentary investigators probing alleged graft under the previous administration submitted a report whose authors questioned several ministers.


President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani appointed Mohamed Ould Bilal, the former head of several state agencies, as the new prime minister, the presidency said later in a statement.

The political system in Mauritania has been rocked this year by a parliamentary investigation into alleged corruption in the government of former president Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who stepped down last year after a decade in power.

Ghazouani, his close ally, won the election to succeed him, but Abdel Aziz quickly found his government's actions, including deals involving offshore oil projects, under scrutiny by parliament.

The investigators on Wednesday gave a report documenting their findings to the public prosecutor. The report has not been made public but several current ministers were questioned about suspected graft that occurred on their watch while serving in senior positions in Abdel Aziz's government.

In brief remarks to reporters on Thursday, Prime Minister Ismail Ould Cheikh Sidiya said he had submitted the government's resignation to Ghazouani but did not provide an explanation.


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