afrol News, 5 March - Chadian President Idriss Deby today in a short statement announced that his Prime Minister, Youssouf Saleh Abbas, had resigned. The resignation follows government corruption scandals. Emmanuel Nadingar is to become Chad's new PM.
The short statement was published by the N'Djaména presidency today. It only reveals that President Deby had "received the resignation of [PM] Youssouf Saleh Abbas." Accepting the resignation, President Deby ordered the administration "to continue carrying out its missions normally."
No official explanation is given to PM Abbas' resignation.
While the official communiqué gives the impression that the PM has resigned out of his free will, local and international observers indicate the 53-year-old PM was pressured to step down, probably by President Deby.
The background for this pressure is sought, by observers, in the recent government corruption scandals shocking Chadian citizens. PM Abbas during the last few months had to dismiss four ministers in the growing scandal.
So far, the embezzlement of at least €4 million of government funds has been revealed. The scandal started in August 2009, when the newspaper 'N'Djaména Bi Hebdo' published an article entitled "Water minister embezzles 100 million FCFA." The minister was fired a few days after the article appeared.
In the oil exporting country, movements of public funds are poorly controlled since President Deby outmanoeuvred World Bank efforts to establish a transparent oil economy. While corruption and embezzlement is thought to be widespread in Chad, the practice until August last year was not an issue for local media to report on.
Mr Abbas, born in Chad's eastern city of Abéché, has held major political offices in N'Djaména since the early 1990s. He was appointed Prime Minister in April 2008 as the first easterner to head government. His major challenge has been to hold together a fragmented government coalition that includes parties sceptical to President Deby.
On Friday afternoon, Emmanuel Nadingar was appointed Chad's new Prime Minister by President Deby. The surprisingly quick appointment again makes a southerner head of government. Mr Nadingar, born in the same region as President Deby, has earlier been Oil Minister and served as Decentralisation Minister in PM Abbas' cabinet.
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